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Wisconsin cheeseheads, make way for the upcoming Bacon Queen

Kim Pfannebecker of Des Moines, Iowa, wears the bacon dress after being crowned 2013 Bacon Queen at the Iowa Bacon Festival.
Kim Pfannebecker of Des Moines, Iowa, wears the bacon dress after being crowned 2013 Bacon Queen at the Iowa Bacon Festival.
(Maharry Photography )

When Kim Pfannebecker was crowned 2013 Bacon Queen at the Iowa Bacon Festival, she wore a specially designed dress made from real strips of bacon, and she ruled with a bacon-wrapped scepter. In Wisconsin, which will hold its first bacon event Nov. 1, the queen will reap a different reward.

“She will be adorned with a tiara and sash, and receive a year’s supply of bacon plus two tickets to the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Iowa,” spokeswoman Erica Rykal said an email.

Iowa pioneered the quirky festival in 2008, and now the college town of Madison, Wis., is going whole hog in what it’s calling the largest bacon showcase in the state.

How popular could a bacon festival be? In December 12,500 tickets to Iowa’s festival offered online sold out in 43 minutes.

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Now Madison has placed 5,000 tickets for its fest on sale.

But back to being Wisconsin’s official Bacon Queen. Contestants have to answer bacon-related questions and submit a photo “that best captures their passion for bacon,” Rykal said. They also have to be at least 21 and live in Wisconsin.

Responses and photos are posted on Facebook where the public gets to vote for their favorites. The crowning of the queen (and a king, too) takes place at the festival.

What does everyone else do? Eat bacon -- or as much as you can stomach. A general admission ticket costs $45 (plus tax and fees) and provides access to unlimited bacon samples, including artisan strips from places such as Nueske’s and Jones Dairy Farm as well as the big guys such as Oscar Mayer and Farmland.

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The ticket also spots you $10 in Bacon Bucks to try some dishes at the fest. And you get to watch the Wisconsin-Rutgers college football game on big-screen TVs too. This fest is strictly for the 21-and-older crowd.

If you miss out, there’s always Iowa, which has scheduled its bacon fest for Jan. 31.

Info: Madison Bacon Festival

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