O’Fallon Sgt. Charles A. Fricke VFW Post 805 is hosting its second annual BaconFest fundraiser event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 in downtown O’Fallon.
More than 50 food, craft and direct sales vendors will line First and Cherry streets, as well as more inside the VFW hall at 221 W. First St.
“This is very laid back atmosphere and a lot of fun too for veterans, families, and people of all ages,” said Maria Wood, VFW Auxiliary president and event organizer.
Equipped with “way more unique vendors than last year,” Wood said, she can’t wait for people to join in on the fun festivities that include kids activities, door prizes, a raffle and live music.
Beginning at 7 a.m. for set up, West First Street from North Lincoln Avenue to North Oak Street will be blocked, as well as, Cherry Street from West State Street to West Second Street.
Recent winner of the Producers Choice Honors at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood, California, Rick Schroeder, a veteran, will be the disc jockey from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I’m excited. There will be bacon flavored or infused food from BLT’s to bacon kabobs to nachos with cheese and bacon to cupcakes to cookies — we have a large variety, there’s even bacon flavored kettle corn and chocolate covered bacon,” Wood said. “We hope people will come in and see the vendors who will be stationed inside too. We even have a special Maple Bacon Bloody Mary drink special only offered at the bar inside the hall too.”
According to Wood, “all the money that we raise goes back to veterans and we try to keep it local vets.”
“We have a lot of veterans involved, more than last year even — men and women vets — which is perfect because it’s veterans supporting veterans, which is what the VFW is all about,” Wood said.
Wood said her and other VFW members were “trying to think outside the box” when it came to “fresh fundraising ideas.”
With Strange Folk Festival moving to St. Louis and St. Louis no longer hosting its own BaconFest anymore, Wood said, “it just seemed like a great idea and it inspired me” to liven up O’Fallon a bit and help veterans while doing it.
“Everyone likes the crafts and who doesn’t like bacon? There’s gonna be loads of it,” Wood said. “We thought it would be a fun adventure, hopefully it keeps going.”
Another great thing about BaconFest, Wood said, is people aren’t confined to a limited space, but rather free to “roam the streets a bit” and shop at local businesses and vendors.
“This also gives us the ability to grow with a fundraiser over time and we can expand or change location if we want if it keeps expanding,” Wood said.
Last year between 800 and 1,000 people attended.
“It’s all for a good cause and it’s so much fun. Plus, it’s not like people are packed outside — it’s across two streets closed down streets, and yards, and the large VFW Hall and there’s just a constant, but not overwhelming flow of people who are walking and having fun,” Wood said.
Local shops and sponsors include: Downtown O’Fallon, IL; Laborer’s Local, 670; O’Fallon Panther Hockey; Steven Mueller Florist; The Hollyhock House; Wood Bakery; Towne Lounge; Unity Yoga & Wellness; Luckenbooth Consignment Gallery; Peel Brewing Company; Fezziwig’s Marketplace; and D.C. CUTZ.
For more information call the VFW Post at 618-632-6575 or visit the BaconFest Facebook page.
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