Story last updated at 3/7/2013 - 2:53 pm
Bacon has jumped out of the frying pan and onto center stage in America, and now Glacier Valley Rotary will have its first Baconfest.
That's right. Bacon. A festival of bacon. Crispy, savory, smoked, honeyed, fried with brown sugar, wrapped around more meat. Oh boy. And we've only just begun.
Bacon Fest, which is 6 p.m. on March 16, is being started as a fundraiser by Juneau's Glacier Valley Rotary.
"It's an event that's designed to allow attendees to taste test a lot of bacon-type dishes," said Charlie Williams, a Glacier Valley Rotarian who is on the Bacon Fest committee.
There are at least 17 confirmed food vendors for the event. Each of them will have a small sample of an item that contains bacon somewhere in the ingredient list.
Some of those vendors include The Rookery Café, Rockwell, Spinning Pig, B's Bistro and Bakery, Alaska Fudge Company and a handful more.
Rebecca Gaguine, owner of B's, is making mini chocolate cupcakes with a brown sugar maple butter cream, garnished with crumbled bacon.
"We love bacon at B's," Gaguine said. "B partially stands for bacon. We have a really great cupcake with bacon in it."
Gaguine said bacon can be sweet, as well as its more popular known rendering as salty and savory.
"We hope to open people's eyes," she said. "I'm hoping that (the response) will be favorable. I am hoping that if people go somewhere for bacon, they're going to be a little more excited."
Williams views Bacon Fest as a way to give something to the community along with raising funds.
There will be a bluegrass band, the food vendors providing samples, a bacon-eating contest with local "celebrity" women, and a pig squealing contest (open to any participants). You can also vote for your favorite bacon dish from any vendor. The top two vendors will get an award.
The bacon-eating contest calls for these women to scarf down as much bacon as they can in 90 seconds. A minute and a half is not much time.
"Oh man, I love bacon," Williams said. "Most people do. We think it's going to be a fun event where we can get the community involved and raise funds. Everybody's a winner."
There will also be a no-host bar, which means the event is open to those 21 and older.
Glacier Valley Rotary came up with a bacon-flavored cocktail to be served at the event. The taste testing wasn't all that it was hammed up to be, but they did find a winner. Something that is palatable.
"We are having a bacon chocolate martini," Williams said. "Through the process of elimination we got a lot of different recipes for different bacon flavored drinks, and we tested them. For this one, we took someone else's recipe and modified it. We really wanted the bacon flavor to come through, not just have it in it. We experimented with 30-40 different drinks. Some of the drinks that people called bacon-this or bacon-that were absolutely disgusting. This is the one we chose because it actually does have a pleasant flavor, and it tastes like bacon."
Williams hopes people will taste it and enjoy it.
Funds raised for the event go toward the Rotary Foundation. Williams said the biggest project Rotary takes on is eradicating polio. Since its inception, and with the work of global branches, polio is now 99 percent eradicated. It also does literacy projects and helps struggling communities build water wells and sewer projects. Williams said Glacier Valley Rotary is involved in a couple of international projects, like providing wheel chairs to a community in Mexico.
"We partner with other clubs and the international fund, buy (the chairs) deliver them and then members go down there and visit," Williams said. "They give a wheel chair to someone who has never been able to leave their house."
Another international project they participate in is in Uganda, where their contributions assist with water projects and medical needs.
Tickets to "celebrate all things bacon" are available at the JACC or at Hearthside Books.
Sarah Day is the editor of Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.