Bacon Fest Oct. 18 at Prairie Street Brewhouse

A view of the first Rockford Bacon Fest in 2011. (Photo by Gregory Farnham)

Staff Report

The Element, a downtown Rockford-based group, has announced its second annual Bacon Fest will be from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rockford.

Last year, The Element presented Rockford’s first festival of this kind. More than 400 bacon enthusiasts attended the 2011 event. Based on attendance and reaction from restaurants involved, Element Executive Director Ed McCullough said it’s safe to say “that Rockford loves its bacon.”

The second annual Rockford Bacon Fest celebrates the wonders of bacon with an evening of bacon-themed dishes and drinks from Rockford’s top restaurants and bars, with proceeds benefiting The Element.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $50 for a VIP treatment to include an early sampling of delights from participating restaurants, Bacon Fest T-shirt and two drink tickets.

The festival, a 21-and-older event, also doubles as a competition for local restaurants involved, McCullough said.

Last year, we awarded pig trophies to the People’s Choice winner and the Bacon Queen’s Choice winner for best bacon cocktail, best presentation and best bacon dish,” he said. “The competition for the trophies was heated, much like we expect it to be for the brass pig trophies this year.”

Two of this year’s competitors are Abreo and Social Urban Bar, both owned by Paul and Karen Sletten. The establishments, located on East State Street, will have staff competing for bragging rights.

I pinned the two against each other,” said Paul Sletten. “It’s a friendly business-to-business, restaurant-to-restaurant competition between my chefs and bartenders at both locations.

It’s no secret that people love to do fun and cool things, the more you have, the more popular an area becomes,” Paul Sletten added. “There’s nothing too hard about going to a place where they’re serving bacon.”

The Element continually embraces and implements ideas and recommendations from Rockford community members, artists and arts organizations. Visit or for more details.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Wired Café, 414 E. State St., Rockford.

Food vendors at the event include Abreo, Bella Luna Bakery, Bistro 108, DiTullio’s Italian Market & Café, Five Forks Market, Main Street/Eickman’s, The Olympic Tavern, Popcorn Parlor, Social Urban Bar and Restaurant, Wired Café and Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza.

From the Oct. 17-23, 2012, issue

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