Four teams gathered together around stacks of bacon for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival's bacon eating contest.


After 6 consecutive years of attracting over 10,000 bacon lovers, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will move to a smaller venue and reduce attendance to 5,000.

The sizzling event will be held on March 7 at the Horizon Events Center located at 2100 NW 100th St. in Clive.

The Iowa Bacon Board predicts a smaller venue will yield more fun and a more intimate experience.

“Over our rich 12 year history, bacon lovers have joined us on our journey from a small celebration at El Bait Shop to a major event held across four levels of Iowa’s largest indoor venue," festival co-founder Brooks Reynolds said. "While celebrations of different sizes offer unique benefits and drawbacks, our goal for 2020 is to build more bacon comradery among festival participants.

"We felt one of the ways to do that was to make it smaller, so people aren’t as split up. The downside is that attendance will be more limited.”

The 13th annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival theme, entertainment lineup, menu and ticket sales date will be announced the first week of December.

The festival has taken place annually in Des Moines since 2008 and is recognized as one of the world’s premier bacon fellowship organizations.

Over the past 12 years, the festival has added annual event locations in Colorado, Iceland and Japan.

Organized and promoted by the Iowa Bacon Board, the one-of-a-kind celebration offers participants extensive bacon sampling, lectures, bacon-inspired dishes, competitions, an annual bacon queen, awards and live entertainment.

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