MOUNTAIN FESTIVALS ARE THE BEST KIND OF FUN
If you are planning on coming to Keystone’s Bacon and Bourbon Festival on June 22nd and 23rd, then this is the festival guide for you. If you aren’t planning on coming—this is just here to make you jealous and drool over all the bacon and bourbon festivities!
9th ANNUAL BACON FESTIVAL FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Located in the heart of Keystone, Colorado in the River Run Village, the Bacon and Bourbon Festival is a summer festival that you must not miss! Here are our 15 best tips to get the most out of your festival weekend and enjoy your bacon and bourbon without stress.
#1 BUY A PACKAGE
The key to saving money and attending ALL the awesome events, tasting ALL the bacon and drinking all the bourbon is to purchase a festival ticket package before the weekend starts. We officially recommend the Hungry Hog Package which includes the Jim Beam Bourbon Tour, as long as you are 21. There is also the Piglet Package for the kiddos, so make sure to check that out.
#2 BOOK A PLACE TO STAY, EARLY!
The best way to do Bacon and Bourbon is to stay for the weekend. No one wants to have to drive back to Denver or anywhere really, after stuffing your face with bacon and celebrating in the Colorado sunshine all day.
There are some great lodging discounts for places in Keystone proper. Check these excellent options out:
- To book Keystone Lodging Package visit: Bacon & Bourbon Weekend
- To schedule Summit Cove Lodging Package call or visit: (970) 368-7023 or reserve a property online here.
#3 PLAN YOUR ENTIRE VACATION AT KEYSTONE RESORT
Although summer activities may not be your first thought when you think of Keystone Resort, we do have some killer things going on in the summer. You can golf at one of the two golf courses, downhill mountain bike and explore the bike park and even go summer snow tubing!
Don’t forget about the restaurants and the glory of being away in the mountains. If you are going to come up for the festival, you might as well plan a full weekend of fun here in the high country.
#4 BRING YOUR WATER BOTTLE
Hydration is essential at 9,280 feet. Water stations will be located throughout River Run and the festival. Bring your favorite water bottle to help reduce waste.
#5 PREP YOUR KIDDO FOR CAMP BACON
Kids are the best bacon eaters we know so let’s get them excited by telling them all about the free face painting and bacon to eat at the festival. They can even earn a Camp Bacon Pin or Bacon Crown throughout the weekend. There will be the Cave of Confusion, crafts and tons of fun to be had for kids of all ages.
#6 PRACTICE STUFFING YOUR FACE
Yes, you heard us. There will be two bacon eating competitions (one for kids and one for adults all sponsored by Berkwood Farms) and who doesn’t want to stuff your face with bacon for fun prizes?
#7 CHECK OUT #KEYSTONEBESTBACON & #KEYSTONEBACON FOR PHOTO INSPIRATION
There are some must-have photos that you are going to want from the festival! Follow @keystonefestivals on Instagram to help you with inspiration. Have you seen the bacon mustaches? Check them out!
#8 CHECK THE WEATHER
Hopefully, we will have sunny amazing Colorado mountain days for the festival, but you don’t want to get caught without your raincoat if there are showers on the way.
#9 PICK THE RIGHT OUTFIT
Festival outfits are a thing to be honored and planned out accordingly. Bring your best pig and bacon costumes or your Bacon and Bourbon Festival hat from last year! If costumes aren’t your thing, go with the cute mountain and casual vibe we know and love in Colorado.
Don’t forget sunscreen—all of us Coloradoans know never to leave the house without it!
#10 REMEMBER 1 TICKET= 1 TASTE
So, if you decide to go the a-la-carte route and not get a festival package, it is in your best interest to remember that tasting tickets are $4 each. This way you can sample whatever you’d like and keep it simple! Just remember each tasting ticket will be exchanged for one item at any of the participating food vendor tents!
#11 DECIDE ON YOUR BEVERAGE OF CHOICE
Choice overload is a real thing, but fortunately for you, all the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages offered at the festival are tasty and refreshing. There will be over 30 different Bourbons to try, beer on ice, specialty cocktails and even wine available for all the adults and fresh lemonade for the kids.
#12 CHECK OUT OUR BANDS AHEAD OF TIME
There is not much better than jamming out and dancing with your friends in the Colorado sunshine surrounded by mountains! The concert lineup for the festival sounds amazing, and the best part of it is that it is all free!
Not only will there be bluegrass but there will also be rock music! The schedule includes the O’Connor Brothers Band, King Cardinal, The Sweet Lilies, Katie and & Snapshot. Plus returning for the 9th year in a row cover band Hell’s Belles plays Saturday and new this year, Who’s Bad will be playing on Sunday.
#13 VOLUNTEER TO BE AN EVEN BIGGER PART OF THE EVENT
Do you want to give back and be a massive part of this event? The Bacon and Bourbon Festival supports local advocate for our National Forest, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District.
Positions available range from Guest Check-in to Bacon Buck Sellers and Kid’s Crafts Table Attendants. Each Bacon and Bourbon volunteer will receive a free t-shirt, and either bacon bucks, a bacon sampling wristband, or a drink ticket for their time.
#14 CHECK OUT THE SCHEDULE BEFOREHAND FOR PERFECT PLANNING
As with most festivals, a lot is going on at the Bacon and Bourbon Festival and in Keystone, Colorado in general! From the bacon eating contest to the bourbon mixology seminars, there are must-do’s you do not want to miss. Check out the schedule so that you can utilize your time wisely and plan accordingly.
#15 GET YOUR SWAG
Who doesn’t love free swag? By swag, we mean free gear! If you are a swag junkie like us, exclusive festival bacon socks are included in the festival packages. Also, make sure to go to the “Makers Wanted” bourbon booth and get your free coaster. Plus kids under 21 get fanny packs and buttons (if they pass the test at Camp Bacon).
Rumour has it Summit Cove properties give out pig noses, so keep an eye out for those too!
BONUS TIP: LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT BOURBON FIRST
A key proponent of this festival is the BOURBON. However, what is the difference between whiskey and bourbon you ask?
From what we’ve learned, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is special! Jim Beam (and the law) says that bourbon must be made with 51% corn, is aged at least two years and there better not be any additives in your bourbon.
To learn more, make sure to go to the Bourbon mixology seminars included with the Hungry Hog package only.
DON’T MISS THE ORIGINAL MOUNTAIN BACON FESTIVAL
The Keystone Bacon & Bourbon Festival is delightful and fun on so many levels. What a better way to kick off to festival season here in the high country than to drink tasty bourbon and eat all sorts of fantastic bacon combinations? We honestly can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend of June 22nd-23rd than in Keystone with a bunch of friends or your family at the 9th Annual Bacon and Bourbon Festival—join us and don’t miss out on the fun!
PS: ARE YOU A BACON PURIST? OR A BACON SNOB?
The beauty of Bacon and Bourbon is that specialty bacon purveyors will be there, like Berkwood Farms, with exclusive bacon you can’t buy in stores. Just another reason to show up at the festival!