BaconFest this weekend, you guys


Nothing, it appears, is more trendy than bacon.

Bacon shows up in new cookbooks and on Internet food sites in various forms, familiar and otherwise. (Chocolate bacon cupcakes, anyone?) Cities across the country are having bacon festivals — Chicago, Des Moines, Kansas City.

Omaha, in fact, combined beer and bacon in an event last weekend.

This weekend brings another pig extravaganza: BaconFest, a benefit for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the center, 2825 Y St.

BaconFest differs from Omaha's other porky festival in at least one important way, said Susan Eustice, public relations manager for the Salvation Army in Omaha: No alcohol will be served, so it will cater to an all-ages crowd.

The event will feature a cookoff between nine area chefs: Victor Cabrales of Anthony's Steakhouse, Ryan Kingkade of the Holland Performing Arts Center, Perry Kudlacek of the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home, Sarah Myre of the Sheraton Omaha, Kevin Newlin and Doug Trammel of the Kroc Center, Jon Rea of M's Pub, Jon Seymour of V. Mertz, Brian Sullivan of Hillcrest Country Club in Lincoln and Glenn Wheeler of Spencer's.

Those attending the festival and a panel of judges will pick winners for two awards. Judges include City Councilman Garry Gernandt, Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders and Jim Trebbien of the Metropolitan Community College School of Culinary Arts.

Bands will perform throughout the day, and kids can make crafts and play carnival games. Food, jewelry, candles and other items will be sold at booths.

And, of course, bacon samples will be available.

You can purchase tickets — $25 for adults and $5 for kids — at local Hy-Vee stores, Crave restaurant at Midtown Crossing and the Kroc Center.

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