By Keith Hernandez - Shaw Media correspondent
Bacon-wrapped pineapple and cherry-bacon flavored shaved ice were a couple of the hot items during the annual bacon celebration that marked the end of Kishwaukee Fest on Saturday in Van Buer Plaza. All food vendors in the festival were required to have one bacon item on their menus, and all festival-goers were required to come with an open mind.
“It’s a bacon phenomenon,” said event creator and organizer Micheal Embrey about the popularity of the food item. “You wake up in the morning smelling bacon cooking; there’s an aroma about it.”
Embrey said he included a bacon-oriented event in Kishwaukee Fest to bring something unique to DeKalb County, which is a large producer of pork. “Chicago has pizza and hot dogs, but what does DeKalb taste like?” Embrey said.
Kishwaukee Fest was canceled last year because Embrey was not available to oversee it, but the annual week-long celebration will continue. Bacon will still be a mainstay of the festival next year, as Embrey said he does not foresee the craze going away.
“It idealizes food,” said Troop 33 Scoutmaster Cliff Golden, whose organization took part in the festival. “You put bacon on anything, it makes it so much better.”