Put a carnivore twist on an American staple by adding bacon to apple pie. Find out how to make this treat by clicking here. (Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star)

Ron Medvescek

Bacon's everywhere it shouldn't be - ice cream, coffee, apple pie, even vodka.

It's infiltrated so many foods, where it seemingly doesn't belong, and only made them better. Bacon's so beloved that several cities devote entire festivals - that sell out within minutes - to nature's most perfect food.

Now, Tucson's puttin' on the hog.

Arizona Bacon Fest hits noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park. More than 20 restaurants are expected to participate, along with several beer vendors and local breweries in Tucson's first bacon-ganza.

As it says more than once on the Arizona Bacon Fest Facebook page, "Praise the lard."

The event benefits nonprofit, community-based behavioral health center La Frontera Arizona.

Eateries aren't squealing about what will be up for nibbling - lest someone swipe his ideas for swine specialties - but event-goers should be ready for just about everything.

"They can expect anything from sweet to salty, crunchy to chewy - each tent will involve some form of bacon," said Rob Betancourt of Main and Mace Public Relations, which organized the festival with A-List 520.

Among the eateries taking part in the festival: The Parish gastropub, BK Carne Asada & Hotdogs, Cup Quequitos (just what it sounds like - cupcakes), Brush Fire BBQ Co. and On a Roll sushi restaurant.

Yup, a sushi place will be there.

There's no bacon in the sushi on its menu, said Teresa Moreno, who owns the downtown On a Roll with her husband, Dominic, and talked him into participating. Bacon's more of a hobby for the bacon-lovin' couple.

"He's done some great things with bacon," Moreno said of her husband. "He's so creative."

As if bacon weren't enough of a main attraction, the festival will also feature a beer garden, bacon merchandise, activities for the kids, a bacon competition with local celebrity judges as well as entertainment.

"It's almost a mini-music festival," Betancourt said. "You've got your food, your music, your beer and a kids zone."


Arizona Bacon Fest

• What: A one-day festival featuring bacon foods and drinks, bacon merchandise, a bacon competition with celebrity judges as well as live music, disc jockeys spinning tunes, crafts and activities for the kids, and a beer garden.

• When: noon-4 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.

• Price: $25, which includes unlimited food and beverage samples and a souvenir glass; $10 for kids 13-17; 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets available at Brush Fire BBQ Co.'s Campbell location, 2745 N. Campbell Ave.; RJ's Replays, 5769 E. Speedway; On a Roll, 63 E. Congress St.; and online at brownpapertickets.com

Contact Kristen Cook at kcook@azstarnet.com or 573-4194.