Scrumptious Preble Co. Pork Festival dishes and racing pigs might make you squeal

Frequent brushing with a cider vinegar-based sauce is what makes Preble County Pork Festival pork chops stand out. (Contributed photo by Rebecca Sodergren)
Caption
Frequent brushing with a cider vinegar-based sauce is what makes Preble County Pork Festival pork chops stand out. (Contributed photo by Rebecca Sodergren)

The Preble County Pork Festival, which returns Sept. 21-22 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 and the late Wilbur Bruner, who established the first swine testing station in 1946.

Explore>>Brewing company brings back Graeter’s Ice Cream Pumpkin Ale just in time for fall

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.

Here are three things you definitely should not pass up.

1.) BACON!

Bacon isn't going to disappear; if anything, it's just going to get harder to find - and, by extension - more expensive. (Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
Caption
Bacon isn't going to disappear; if anything, it's just going to get harder to find - and, by extension - more expensive. (Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Credit: Glen Stubbe

Credit: Glen Stubbe

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.

Explore>>6 ways to keep summer going at Young’s Dairy

2.) PORK CHOP, SAUSAGE or HAM DINNER

Delicious food is prepared during the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the fairgrounds in Eaton. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Delicious food is prepared during the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the fairgrounds in Eaton. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: David Moodie

Credit: David Moodie

The festival's Swine and 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 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday or until SOLD OUT.

Explore>>Who is winning the latest battle in Dayton’s doughnut wars?

3.) SAUSAGE AND PANCAKES

Pancakes, sausage, eggs, and beverages will be served. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Caption
Pancakes, sausage, eggs, and beverages will be served. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

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 pancakes, fresh smoked sausage and a drink ($7 adults, $4 for children).

Explore>>Miami Valley Bluegrass & Artisan Fest streamlines into 1-day event

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL ...

Other foods you’ll find at the festival:

• Pulled pork nachos, $6 (Midway)

• Cracklins and Jerky Sticks $4-$6 (Bruner Building and the Country Store)

• Hot dogs, $3 (Hot Dog Stands, Kids Zone)

• Ham, $4 (Hot Dog Stands and Kids Zone)

• Smoked Sausage, $5 (Hot Dog Stands and Kids Zone)

• Pork Rinds, $2 (Hot Dog Stands)

• Donuts, $1 (Hot Dog Stands) -- until sold out

• Mac & Cheese, $2 (Kids Zone)

Explore>> Ghostlights’s latte with a loyal following just returned for the fall season
Here's who we spotted at the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton on Sept. 15, 2018. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Here's who we spotted at the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton on Sept. 15, 2018. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

MORE TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2019

• This year bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches will be sold ($4) at the hot dog and pop stands on the festival grounds.

• Free Country Concert on Saturday at 3 p.m. with Higher Vision, a bluegrass band, and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  with country musicians the Richard Lynch Band.

• Kid zone activities including Zorb (obstacle course and quad jump)

• Live pig display

• Kiddie tractor pull on Sunday

• The racing pigs are back!

• New souvenirs like shot glasses, magnets, tumblers and ornaments will be sold in near the rabbit barn.

>> GET COMPLETE SCHEDULE HERE

Here's who we spotted at the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton on Sept. 15, 2018. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Here's who we spotted at the 2018 Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton on Sept. 15, 2018. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

Credit: DAVID MOODIE

WANT TO GO?

What: Preble County Pork Festival

When: Sept. 21; 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Sept. 22; 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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

Cost: Free

Info: 937-456-7273 | WebsiteFacebook