Other events scheduled included lectures about bacon and an eating competition. The festival was preceded earlier in the week with a bacon queen pageant and a pig pardon by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, said bacon used to be just a breakfast food. Now chefs from across the state and country use it in everything from vegetable dishes to desserts.
"It's come a long way and you can find it in almost any kind of food or beverage offering," she said.
Festival co-founder Brooks Reynolds, who officially started the event just a few years ago, said it's become the largest bacon showcase in the world. He called the event a "bacon fellowship."
"They can just bond with their fellow man and just celebrate the meat that everybody enjoys," he said.
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