Third annual Bacon Day set for April 9 in Fayetteville

Graphic: Nick Hamon
Bacon Day 2011 is scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at Agri Park in Fayetteville.

Men love it. Women also love it. Dogs will do tricks for it. Even vegetarians crave it.

It is bacon, and friends Nick Hamon, Quynh Nguyen and Phillip Rusk will be hosting a local celebration of the universe’s most delicious meat product at Fayetteville’s third annual Bacon Day. The event begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at Agri Park off Garland Avenue.

Bacon Day began as a private birthday celebration for Rusk with a very simple concept; attendees are asked to make a creative bacon dish, bring it to the party, and spend an entire day sharing and devouring tons of tasty bacon. Last year, the event was open to the public and this year, it will follow a similar format.

“I think about 75 people showed up last year,” Rusk said. “We’re looking to make it bigger and better every year.”

Rusk said he plans to once again roast an entire pig to share with attendees, but as Nguyen explained, Bacon Day is definitely about BYOB (bringing-your-own-bacon).

“The more creative the dish, the better,” she said.

Caramel coated bacon

Bacon ice cream, bacon donuts, bacon-wrapped tofu, deep-fried bacon, and caramel bacon fudge (made by our own Flyer Foodie) are some of the favorite unconventional bacon dishes that attendees have cooked up for Bacon Day in the past. Even the strangest of the bacon-creations were surprisingly delicious.

“I was pretty amazed by the bacon wrapped tofu last year,” Rusk said. “It had that great, sweet and salty combo and a nice texture that I really wasn’t expecting. But to tell you the truth, if you wrap anything in bacon I will probably like it.”

The initial Bacon Day was also the birthplace of an internet sensation, a scale-model AK-47 that Hamon modeled out of several pounds of cooked bacon. The BA-K-47, as it was called, made its way onto Gizmodo, Geekology, the LA Times Blog, and countless other sites.

Hamon took it up a notch last year by crafting a scale model bacon AT-AT Walker for the event, which also became internet-famous. Hamon vowed to retire from bacon-sculpting after working all night to create the AT-AT last year, but the trauma appears to have subsided.

“I swore to everyone who helped me prepare the AT-AT that I would never make anything like that again” Hamon said. “I guess a year is enough time to forget the bacon cooking madness that happened.”

Hamon plans to unveil his latest surprise bacon-creation at the celebration this year.

Bacon AT-AT

“I’m incredibly apprehensive about the complexity of the piece this time around. Right now, it’s not going to be any smaller than last year, but I do plan on cooking the bacon outside, so that will definitely be a little less stressful,” he said. “I’ll be under more of a time crunch this year, since I won’t be in town until (the weekend of the event). Fortunately, the bulk of the work always gets done the night before in a sleepless haze.”

Horse shoes, baggo, frisbee, and other yard games are encouraged, pets and kids are welcome, and the organizers are also asking attendees to bring their own chairs, blankets, drinks, cups and coolers.

“Everyone is welcome,” Nguyen said. “Since we’ll be on university property again, we’d just like for everyone to please be respectful of the space we’re in and have fun responsibly.”

Bacon Day 3

When: Saturday, April 9, 2 p.m.
Where: Agri Park, Fayetteville
Cost: Admission is free (bringing a bacon dish is recommended)