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A Festival for Bacon on Newport's Riverfront? Yes, Please

The trendiest of the trends converge in one big new festival in Newport this summer.

The first Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival will take place along the riverfront during the weekend of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati from July 10 - 14. Dedicated to the area's rich history and connections to the brewing, pork and distilling industries, the event will focus on the three ingredients exclusively.

“All food items will include at least one of the main ingredients. So whether it's bacon-wrapped filet mignon, or a bourbon sauce chicken dish, every food item must contain at least one of the three items,” said event producer Mark Wertheim.

The festival will be an annual event, every second weekend of July. There will be continuous live entertainment, no admission charge, some kids activities, and a bourbon tent.

“The cool thing is that the Bourbon Society of Greater Cincinnati are going to have a tent and in that tent will be mixologists and public speakers who are master distillers that will talk about bourbon, and there may be some tastings throughout the day,” Wertheim said.

There will also be a focus on local craft beers though specific vendors have yet to be identified.

“There will be some general domestic beers, too, but we're trying to use as many locals as we can. There will be other varieties,” said Wertheim. “We don't have anybody selected yet. A lot of it has to do with whether the brewers are distributed in Northern Kentucky and whether they have the capacity to serve at such an event. I'm sure that we will be contacted by lots of those breweries. We would love to have lots of different local craft beers.”

The three food and drink items featured at the festival are currently trending in society which makes it a good time to begin a traditional event that with each item having strong traditions in the area.

“There's no big outdoor festivals that encompass those ingredients. Northern Kentucky has the bourbon heritage, there aren't many outdoor bourbon events. There are some smaller indoor bacon events in the area but not on the scale that we're going to have,” Wertheim said.

As for the live music, the festival has yet to book specific bands but does intend on a lineup that provides a constant stream of music from local bands. Event organizers also hope to gain permission to show the All-Star Game on screens at the festival.

“We have applied to Major League Baseball to be one of the Cincinnati Reds block party for that weekend as well and when that comes through, we will be broadcasting the All-Star Game from the event,” he said.

Wertheim has produced the Great Inland Seafood Festival and Oktoberfest in Newport.

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor

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