I know I wasn’t alone in counting down the days until Saturday, October 5th—Orlando’s Festival of Bacon. With the promise of live music, over thirty vendors, and many bacon-related activities, I attended Bacon Fest—twice—in one day. My first time of attendance was at noon; the second, at five. The festival itself ran from 11 AM until 7 PM.
This was no cheap fare: the tickets for this event were $35 a pop! Like visiting a theme park, that kind of cover charge makes you expect to only dish out money at gift shops; you don’t expect to pay for each ride! However, I do expect to wait in line at a theme park. But, I waited longer in lines at Bacon Fest than I did at Halloween Horror Nights.
Apparently, the creators of Bacon Fest never visited Disney—or they just want to rip-off patrons. Each $35 ticket included festival entry and ten “bacon bucks.” Bacon bucks, creatively named, were the official and only currency inside of Bacon Fest. With one beer costing six of your ten “complimentary” bacon bucks, it was hard to get buzzed enough to dull that pesky I’m-being-ripped-off feeling. In the entire event, there were only two bacon sample stands that were free of charge. These stands handed out greasy, uninspiring, single strips of bacon (both ran out of samples before 5 PM).
Guests of Bacon Fest spent much of their time in long, unshaded lines to pay an average of $3-$5 per bacon-inspired “sample.” Surprisingly, bacon seemed to be in rather short supply at Bacon Fest. A better name for this event might have been “Bits of Bacon Fest,” but alas, it seems Bacon Fest was a catchier name. Out of the “over thirty” vendors there, less than half offered food at all, and several of those had little or no bacon available in their offerings. The best deal I enjoyed was a double shot of Jagermeister for one bacon buck.
Judging from the current state of the event’s Facebook page, I am far from alone in my dissatisfaction with Bacon Fest. It looks like the PR team or whoever manages the page can’t delete the negative reviews quickly enough. I spy with my little eye several hashtags that read #nevergoingagain. If I didn’t feel so iffy on hashtags, I’d be all: #damnstraight.
Bacon Fest could have been spectacular: a day of whimsy, bacon, and delight. Regrettably, Bacon Fest was a day of dull drum: long lines, hot weather, and overpriced (when available) bacon. I tried much of the food, this bacon enthusiast suggests skipping Bacon Fest for your local diner. You’ll get more bacon for less money in one sitting.