ENID — Eric Winscher had a plan. Drink water before. Find the crispiest bacon possible. Drink lots of water during.
His plan worked. He dominated the bacon-eating contest at Baconalia, the state's first bacon festival, held in a bar parking lot in Enid. About 150 people attended Saturday.
"I feel excellent," he said, breathless from the intense competition. "I feel energized with bacon."
The hog calling contest and Miss Piggy pageant aside, the bacon-eating competition was the highlight of the festival. Contestants were given paper plates piled high with bacon. Just bacon. Just a big, ol' pile of bacon.
Grease dripped over the edge or through the bottom. Grown men, little girls, everyone was ready.
The emcee counted down: "Three, two, one — eat bacon!"
This is what America is all about.
The crowd cheered and broke into a chant: "Pig! Pig! Pig!" One woman shouted encouragement: "Feel that grease goin' down smooth!" Wow. That's disgusting. "Please don't throw up!" the emcee shouted into the mic. "Please don't throw up! Please don't throw up!"
Thankfully, no one did. One man walked away, though, shaking his head and carrying a soggy paper plate piled with bacon.
To the winner: a trophy and heart disease. To the losers: just heart disease.
But it's OK. The proceeds from the festival will be given to the American Heart Association.
I have to say, Baconalia was the best-smelling festival I've ever been to.
There was even a cooking competition.
Enid resident Debra Vogt won the top prize for best bacon dessert with her spicy pumpkin bacon waffles. She ran out of samples before I had the chance to try them, but they sounded delicious.
"Everybody loves waffles, right?" she said.
I could not disagree.
She served her dish up with bacon-infused syrup. Vogt, a Garfield County court reporter, said she loves to cook and will probably pull the recipe out in the future.
Vogt volunteered at the festival, spending some time at the serving tent. She pulled hot bacon out of a foil-lined cooler, dropped it onto paper plates and handed it out to the masses.
"There are a lot of bacon lovers," she said. "They were saying, 'I want all of the bacon you've got.'"
It would be impossible to eat all the bacon they had. My husband and I together ate half a plate. Our all-inclusive festival tickets included seven more plates of free bacon between the two of us. Well, I guess it was seven plates for the three of us, but when we offered our 11-month-old daughter a tiny bit, she just threw it to the ground.
Maybe she's a vegetarian. Good thing she wasn't in the eating contest against Eric Winscher.