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Bacon Fest sizzles in debut

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Houston Dorn of La Crosse won the first Bacon Eating Contest, and vendors took home awards at the first Bacon Fest, held Saturday at Loggers Field.

The River Valley Media Group partnered with Festival Foods, Farmland Bacon and Copeland Park & Events Center to bring Bacon Fest to La Crosse

“The first ever Bacon Fest in La Crosse was a huge success. It was very evident that even Mother Nature loves bacon,” said Paul Pehler, president of River Valley Media Group.

“This event couldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of all our vendors, and the gracious sponsorships of Festival Foods, Farmland Bacon, Wisconsin Clothing Co. and Casino Queen. Copeland Park & Event Center was the perfect host, and we’ll absolutely look to make them home of Bacon Fest for years to come.”

A panel of judges chose City Meat Market as the vendor with the best bacon, and Holmen Meat Locker was runner-up. David Reay’s was selected by judges as the vendor with the best dish, and Schindoggies was runner-up.

Bacon Fest attendees cast the people’s choice vote, and they chose Bubba’s Meats for best bacon and Stinson’s Country Style Meats as runner-up.

The People’s Choice vote for best bacon dish went to Neule’s Vogue, and the runner-up went to Schindoggies.

Ten contestants competed in the Bacon Eating Contest, sponsored by Festival Foods and Farmland Bacon. Dorn won the trophy for consuming 3 pounds, 8 ounces of bacon in five minutes.

“We were thrilled to have sold out three days prior to the event and hope to increase the available number of tickets for next year,” Pehler said. “Next year we’ll plan for more vendors and will absolutely bring back the Bacon Eating Contest, as it was one of the highlights of the day.

“Final tallies are still being calculated, but we’ll have raised a very generous contribution for the WAFER food pantry, who supplied volunteers for the day,” Pehler said.

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