The second annual Bacon Fest was held March. 7 in Pathfinder Dining Hall. In total, 1,724 students attended. The entire day was bacon, from brunch, to Chasin’ Bacon and a 5k race used to promote the event, as well as healthy living, and then dinner.
Ryan Hopf and Chris Romita first created the event in the spring semester of their sophomore year.
“The main reason we thought of it was [because] we wanted to eat a lot of bacon and not pay for it,” Romita said. They went to Student Association and were turned down. However, after that, they went to Judi Phillips, a manger at Pathfinder Dining Hall and the two were able to bring their idea to life.
This year, the two began planning in September. Both wanted to try and make this Bacon Fest better than last year. They talked about what new recipes they should have, what they should do during it, how they should advertise differently and of course they talked about the bacon.
This year, the two of them, and the dining hall workers, pulled out all the stops when it came to the bacon, from new things like bacon rice crispy treats, to classics like bacon burgers. Some of the favorites among people were the jalepeno bacon, the candied bacon, the potato bacon chowder and the bacon waffles, which the workers created a half hour prior to the doors opening. For dessert, there was more bacon. The dining hall featured a chocolate fountain in which people could dip their bacon.
To those that were opposed to eating nothing but bacon, there were other options available. The main line served Kraft macaroni and cheese, as well as green beans wrapped with vegan bacon. The salad line served a vegan potato salad, which also had vegan bacon bits.
With the help of their Seneca Hall coworkers, they planned what should be going on during the event. Many bacon-themed posters were created to get people in the mood for the event, saying things like “Heisenpig” to “Kevin Bacon approves.”
There were also games inside, like pin the tail on the pig and guess the bacon. The winners were given either a free Bacon Fest or Chasin’ Bacon T-shirt. T-shirts were also given to the first 25 people through the doors for dinner, and to a random table during brunch.
To advertise for the program, the two did everything Resident Assistant’s do to prepare for programs. They created digital signage for the event, that were hung in the residents halls and they created smaller slips of paper which had the general information. On Valentine’s Day, they held a bacon tease. Here they had bacon, bacon and egg tornados and the paper slips to get people informed about the main event in March. In addition, they went to dining halls with some of their fellow RAs dressed as bacon and went around telling students about the event.
There were various types and styles of making the bacon. Some, like the peppered and the cherry wood, were freshly made during the brunch rush to ensure there would be enough for dinner. Other types, such as the candied bacon and the honey mustard bacon, were made using precooked bacon that could be recooked after the toppings were applied.
“Every year we learn how to make it easier,” Phillips said. “Next year we’ll organize it more; have more people working to prepare all the bacon.”