Note: the bacon festival is 100% true.
A story in the Gannett-owned Des Moines Register Wednesday featuring 100% on-the-record quotes blew the lid on the impending celebration of swine meat.
El Bait Shop, an actual bar in downtown Des Moines, will hold the tribute to bacon on March 1, to coincide with National Pig Day. The side meat soirée, which also features $1 draws of Pabst Blue Ribbon, is expected to attract bacon lovers from California and Arizona along with a "bacon blogger" from Pittsburgh known as MrBaconpants (http://www.mrbaconpants.com/).
The National Pork Board, based in Des Moines (of course), said bacon sales rose 20% from 2000 to 2005. Some 46% of all breakfast bacon eaters are female.
Pork is held in high regard in Iowa, where hogs out-number people 18 million (give or take) to 3 million. "With six hogs in the state for every man, woman and child, we're not going to piss them off," said a racing blogger based in Iowa who declined to be identified so as to avoid being quoted in a Gannett publication. "Plus, if you pretend that hogs are NASCAR fans (no offense), then being a human in Iowa is like being an IndyCar fan -- outnumbered about six to one, at least."
Some Iowans are hoping the second-annual hog fest will be moved to the coincide with the weekend of the IndyCar Series race at Newton, usually in late June. "We thought it was perfect -- eat some pig here, go watch some pigs on the track," said one insider. "I don't see a loser there."
MrBaconpants weighed in against any change of date, however. "I think the event should always be March 1st, since that's my birthday," MrBaconpants said in an actual quote I am not making up. "This is going to be the great birthday ever, Bacon and PBR!"
Iowans have long appreciated the hog, known on the farm as "the mortgage lifter" for their consistent ability to bring in profit. Veterinarians and animal experts say the hog is actually a very intelligent and naturally clean animal.
Hogs, however, cannot sweat so they will lie in muddy slop to stay cool. Parts of pigs are actually very compatible with humans. Skin from pigs is sometimes used as emergency skin grafts for human burn victims. The average hog weighs about 250 pounds (2.5 Danicas) when it goes to market.