EATON – It’s time once again to pig out and spend money at the Preble County Pork Festival.
Always the third full weekend in September, this year’s festival is set for this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19-20, at the Preble County Fairgrounds.
It’s a foodie’s paradise: last year alone some 51,000 pounds of pork was served during the festival. In preparation over the course of three days, more than 50,000 pork chops are fresh cut for cooking on the festival’s grills or selling in the Country Store.
The fairgrounds opens at 6:30 a.m. both days, closing at 8 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Parking and admission are free.
The festivities kick off with the parade on Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Eaton and ending at the grandstands at the fairgrounds. Former Cincinnati Reds’ pitcher Tom Browning will serve as parade grand marshal.
As always, from breakfast to dinner meals including pork will be available. From the short order restaurant to the smorgasbord, there will be something to whet appetites of all sizes. Visitors also have a chance to purchase fresh pork to take home from the Country Store.
It’s also a great time to purchase items to decorate the home or to get a head start on holiday gift purchases. Crafts and gifts galore will highlight the shopping experience for the hardcore shoppers this weekend, with over 350 exhibitors from 10 states using over 600 booths across the fairgrounds. Booths will be open for perusal from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.
Last year, exhibitors came from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, Alabama and Iowa. Some 12,852 meals were served between the smorgasbord and the pancake and smoked sausage breakfast.
There will be a big screen television set up to allow sports lovers to keep up with their favorite teams all weekend, and festival goers will also have the chance to vote on the best painted pig in the “Oinkers for Art” competition.
Corporate sponsors this year again include Freedom First Credit Union and Rumpke Trash & Recycling.
For additional information, including a map of the festival grounds, check out the special insert in this edition of The Register-Herald.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.