Bakersfield Bacon Fest lands

Stephen Underwood, Reporter

Bakersfield hosted its own Bacon Fest this past Oct. 15.

At noon the festival opened to anyone in the general public who purchased VIP bracelets, and everyone else with regular paid admission was allowed past the entrance at 1 p.m.

Bacon Fest is an annual occurrence in towns and cities all across America, but this was Bakersfield’s first participation in the festival since 2014.

“This year’s October festival date is our second Bacon Fest within the past two years, 2014 was the first time Bacon Fest happened in Bakersfield,”

said Chairman Mike Urioste. Urioste, however, also had help putting together both the previous and this year’s Bacon Fest through Nocturnal Entertainment.

Bacon Fest featured creative bacon offerings, such bacon popsicles and ice cream, as well as different food sampling and cooking contests, drinks, art, crafts, jewelry, clothing, novelties, and music concerts.

The festival allows restaurants and vendors to advertise and promote products, one of which is the newly opened Mexican-Brazilian fusion Centro 18 offered samples of their food to Bacon Fest attendees.

“Pork slider is one of our specialties,” said Centro 18 co-owner Francis Cueto.

Chef Lino Gonzalez said, “What separates and makes our food different from other Mexican and Latin foods and restaurants is our land fusion.

Our food is more fancy, and has more kick.”

Gonzalez has more than 18 years of experience as a cook and chef.

“I was cursed since birth, and my dad was an influence,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez started working with his dad when he was 10 years old.

Cold Canyon, which is based in Canada, had their first showing at Bacon Fest this year.

They distributed sample tea light candles, sold pink candles in glass containers that recognized Breast Cancer Awareness Week, and had different flavors that were indicated on tags and bottom labels.

Cold Canyon employee Brandi Lynch said, “Our most popular candle flavor is fresh orange, it was the first one our company created, it’s non-toxic, and pure.”

Other than candles, oils, pots, home cleaning products, and nickel free necklaces, other natural goods and items were sold at the Cold Canyon tent during the festival.

Music acts at Bacon Fest included a Michael Jackson impersonator named Michael Spirit and a local band called Standing Jay Tucker. Their lead singer, besides being a music performer, also puts on Marilyn Monroe impersonation shows.

“She’s done movies with Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, and she was in the Medium,” says Standing Jay Tucker manager Linda Lomonso. “Besides movies, she was also in an episode of Pawn Stars in Vegas,” says Lomonso. Standing Jay Tucker’s drummer, Anthony Rodriguez, 28, is blind, self-taught, played jazz music at his high school, has been in Standing Jay Tucker for four years, and is currently playing drums in Tritone Mafia, too.

Rodriguez says, “My musical influences are bands like Rush, Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, and Disturbed.”

Bacon Fest concluded in the evening, and Urioste said, “Our sales were better today than our last Bacon Fest event in 2014.”