MANCHESTER, Iowa — Pigging out will be taken to the next level this weekend during a street festival in Manchester.
The fifth annual Bacon-N-Hops Fest will bring together vendors providing pork-infused entrees, side dishes and desserts, as well as more than 80 local beers and wines to sample.
The event is hosted by the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce. Local businesses donated food for the meal. Festivities are set for 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, on East Delaware Street.
Manchester Fareway Manager Paul Heffernen said he will be serving up a pork-and-bacon cheddar burger for attendees.
“It’s bacon and cheddar mixed up in a pork patty,” he explained.
Other fare will include a brat-and-bacon sandwich, a potato dish, baked beans and a sugar cookie. Naturally, everything will be infused with bacon.
“I think our (event) is tasteful,” Heffernen said. “Nobody goes away hungry.”
Jessica Pape, executive director of the Manchester chamber, said the event typically attracts about 300 attendees, including visitors who attend following the CMJ Motorcycle Trials, which wrap up at Whitewater Park right before the festival begins.
“It’s not just something for locals to do,” she said. “(The motorcycle trials) bring in five different states of participants that come to compete, so we have a lot of out-of-staters who come. It’s a great way for us to show them the community and show them some hospitality as well.”
Manchester-based Franklin Street Brewing Co. will be one of the area breweries represented at the event.
Taproom Manager Tina Ostrander said she and her team will bring new brews to sample, as well as “Drugstore Cowboy,” a local favorite.
“Manchester is great with coming out for these festivals,” she said. “There’s a lot of people, but not too many. We’ll have people and it’s fun, but you don’t have to stand in line for an hour for a beer.”
Finding brews that complement the food isn’t difficult, Ostrander said.
“Any time you have a food that you can pair with wine or beer, you want to make sure it matches the flavor profile,” she said. “And bacon goes with so much.”
Something unique about the event, Pape said, is that home-brewers also can bring samples for the public to taste.
“They can’t sell and bottle, but they can sample,” she said. “It’s a chance for home-brewers to show off what they can do as well.”
Heffernen said, “It’s a good venue for getting exposure and publicity for smaller breweries and wineries.”
“It’s good for us and good for everybody,” he said. “If you enjoy different types of beer and wine and a good meal, there’s no reason not to show up.”