Pig out at the Preble County Pork Festival this weekend

It's time to pig out at the Preble County Pork Festival, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
It's time to pig out at the Preble County Pork Festival, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Preble County Fairgrounds in Eaton. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

The Preble County Pork Festival, which returns Sept. 18-19 in Eaton, was started in 1970 as a way to show off agricultural pride.

In fact, the area has been deemed the Home of Swine Improvement in America, thanks to the trailblazing efforts of local farmers as well as the late Wilbur Bruner, who established the first swine testing station in 1946.

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The festival offers arts, crafts, live entertainment and, of course, lots of food. About 125,000 people devour 54,000 pounds of meat served at this festival every year. This delicious celebration of farm-to-plate will have meat eaters in constant drool mode.

The event will truly kick off with the Pork Festival Annual Parade on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10:30 a.m. The parade sets off at the intersection of Barron Street and Decatur Street and ends in front of the grandstands at the Preble County Fairgrounds.

Most everyone loves bacon, but have you had farm-fresh bacon? Your local grocer has nothing on this festival’s Country Store. In addition to fresh bacon, you can purchase ham, loin, ribs, roast pork, sausage, pork chops, jerky, cracklings and more. The Country Store will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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The festival’s Swine N’ Dine features a meal that would fill up most appetites. The meal comes with choice of a barbecued pork chop, sausage or ham, potato wedges, baked beans, coleslaw, applesauce, a slice of pie and a drink for $8, $10 or $12. Hours are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until sold out.

No need to stop for breakfast before hitting the Pork Festival because the organizers have that waiting for you from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. both days. Each breakfast comes with all-you-can-eat pancakes, smoked sausage and a drink ($7 adults, $4 for children).

New this year, the Preble County Pork Festival will serve a selection of products from Miller, Coors, Eaton’s Bushrod Brew Works and Olde School House Winery as a part of its Hog Haus and Wine Garden. The serving hours will be on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each drink is $5.

Other foods you’ll find at the festival:

• Pulled pork nachos, $7

• Cracklins and jerky sticks, $1-$5

• Hot dogs, $3

• Ham, $4

• Smoked sausage, $5

• Pork rinds, $2

After you’ve eaten your way through the festival, sit back and enjoy the several special events taking place during the annual pork celebration. Guests will be able to enjoy free performances from country musicians Zach Neil, Moron Brothers and Justin Back in the entertainment tent.

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The Kiddie Tractor Pull will take place in the grandstands at noon on Sunday. Racing pigs will also take over the Preble County Pork Festival on Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Sunday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pork and sausage demonstrations will occur throughout the festival. The complete schedule of events can be found on the Preble County Pork Festival’s website.

HOW TO GO

What: Preble County Pork Festival

When: Saturday, Sept. 18 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 19 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Preble County Fairgrounds, 722 S. Franklin St., Eaton

Cost: Free

More info: 937-456-7273 | Website | Facebook

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