Stormy Sweet

This Saturday in Coombs: Time to celebrate bacon

Organizer Mark Chandler is know as 'The Bacon Boss'

You can bring home the bacon this weekend.

BaconFest is this Saturday (Sept. 24) at the Coombs Fairgrounds at 11 a.m., and will include a silent auction, games, food trucks, a cook-off and a dinner.

Organizer Mark Chandler of Five Star Wholesale said when he first got the idea for BaconFest it was more of a summer wind-down for the restaurant and tourism industries.

“It’s been such a crazy year in the restaurant sector and tourist industry, it’s probably been one of the hardest years ever for the people working in the kitchens and in the front,” Chandler said. “We wanted to celebrate the end of the year.”

When he first booked the space in April, Chandler said the original concept was going to be a food truck festival.

But Chandler, who used to own Extreme Eats food truck, said he’s a bit of a bacon fanatic.

“We’re kind of going with a bacon redneck theme,” Chandler said.

Stormy Sweet, who’s helping to organize the event with Chandler, said he’s known as the “bacon boss.”

“That’s why it’s BaconFest,” Sweet said.

Both Chandler and Sweet said the reaction from people has been positive.

“Most people, when we say BaconFest to them, say, ‘I love bacon,'” Sweet said. “They’re just so excited because they love bacon.”

There will also be a cook-off between chefs and non-chefs in Arrowsmith Hall starting at

2 p.m.

Sweet, who will be competing, said they need to make one signature dish and one dish from a “mystery crate” that will have an assortment of ingredients.

Chandler and his team will also be cooking a “Silence of the Hams” dinner.

“It’s going to be all my stuff. It’s going to be all my recipes. I’m going to have a BaconFest cookbook,” Chandler said.

Tickets for the dinner are $20 and need to be purchased before Sept. 22 from Five Star Wholesale (531 Stanford Ave., Parksville).

Admission to the festival is free or by donation, with partial proceeds going to Tour de Rock and the District 69 Firefighters Assistance Fund.

For more information, visit BaconFest 2016 on Facebook.

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