Fair ready to tout bacon

Bacon lovers will squeal with delight Saturday as the first Bacon Capital Day takes place at the Martin County Fair.

Vendors will serve special bacon-infused items. There will be kids games, Bacon Capital USA items for sale and free souvenir glasses in the beer garden.

And it will be the debut of Martin C. Magic, affectionately known as Marty, the Bacon Capital USA mascot.

“Marty is eagerly waiting to meet the Martin County residents and represent Martin County as its ambassador around the state, the region and the country,” said Steve Hawkins, a member of the Bacon Capital USA committee, an off-shoot of Project 1590. “He does have a couple of engagements scheduled beyond the fair. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, he’ll be at Ag Day at the Minnesota Gophers game. We hope to get a meet-and-greet with Goldie Gopher while we’re there.”

Marty was developed by a Minneapolis firm that also produced other Minnesota sports mascots, including Goldie Gopher, Crunch from the Timberwolves and TC, the Twins bear, as well as mascots for the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Houston Astros.

“Marty is one of a kind. There’s no other one like him,” Hawkins said.

On Saturday, Marty will greet fair-goers in the Bacon Capital tent located right inside the main gate. From 1-3 p.m., there will be kids activities, including face-painting, bacon bingo and coloring. People can guess how much money is in a large clear glass piggy bank stuffed with cash and Bacon Capital goodies.

Valuable coupons will be given to those people wearing Bacon Capital attire, and if you don’t have a thing to wear, don’t worry. T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps and stocking hats will be available for purchase each day of the fair at the Martin County Pork Producers booth and on Saturday in the Bacon Capital tent.

“We also will be debuting a new Bacon Capital shirt on Saturday, and our future plans are to have more merchandise that’s all about Marty,” Hawkins said.

Bacon Capital Day observance will not be concentrated only in the tent. Beverages in the beer garden Saturday will be served in free souvenir glasses, courtesy of the Truman Fire Department, which operates the beer garden, and Ad Mfg. of Fairmont. Numerous food vendors will conform to the day’s theme by offering bacon selections on their menus, items like corn on the cob covered in bacon bits, bacon cheese curds, a bacon-wrapped burrito or an all-American bacon cheeseburger. Maps of participating vendors will be available in the tent.

The Bacon Capital USA committee formed about a year ago to spotlight Martin County as the state’s largest pork producer and, of course, bacon.

“We have one of the best things to promote ever. Everybody loves bacon,” Hawkins said. “We think it’s a home run to use bacon and the hard work of all our pork producers as an avenue to put Martin County on the map.”

The committee’s efforts expand much farther than the fair. They currently are raising money for a mobile trailer and are close to their goal, thanks to the countywide support of individuals and businesses.

“We’ll be using this trailer as a mobile billboard and a mobile visitors center. You’ll see it at Gophers games, festivals in Iowa,” Hawkins said. “We’ll also be promoting the many other amenities of our county, like the parks, the lakes, disc golf, snowmobiling, pheasant hunting, everything about Martin County that makes us great.”


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