Holy Crap, Camp Bacon is a Real Place and You Can Go

A Cajun-style pork roast with independent films, music, and bacon…

Yes, it’s the exact setting of how we imagine heaven but it’s also a real event held from May 31 through June 4 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This year, Zingerman’s 8th Annual Camp Bacon provides the stomping (and noshing) grounds of a pork-lover’s paradise. The all-you-can-eat “bacon extravaganza” has become a nationally-recognized festival attracting the best pork chefs in the world, renowned food experts, producers, and, of course, us folk simply passionate about some good bacon.

For instance… Clark Rachal is driving 1,300 miles from Louisiana to cook Cochon de Lait and award-winning journalist Simran Sethi is flying in from Rome. NBD.

What’s so cool about Camp Bacon is that while attendees sample film and fair, Camp Bacon is also quietly donating its funds to two of Zingerman’s nonprofits— Southern Foodways Alliance and 4H Club of Washtenaw County.

FYI: Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is a family of nine independently operated businesses all located in the Ann Arbor area, founded by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig who founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982. Ari was first inspired to launch Camp Bacon while writing his book Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon.

“Over the last eight years Camp Bacon has become one of my favorite events of the year here at Zingerman’s,” says Ari, “and with each year that we do it… the connection with the campers grows stronger, the presentations get more interesting, the food gets better, the bacon gets…well, everything’s already better with bacon.”

Amen, brother.

And as with any camp, there’s a schedule of activities. But it’s a far stretch from the crafting and nature hikes we experienced as camps as a kid. Grab something to hold on to because this will be intense…

Camp Bacon Events Schedule

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Camp Bacon Food Film Festival
Wednesday, May 31, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

The stories behind beloved Southern women food makers are captured in this collection of short documentaries.
$35/person. Location: Greyline, 100 N. Ashley St, Ann Arbor
Register here.

Bakin’ with Bacon at BAKE!
Thursday, June 1, 5:30pm – 9:30pm Friday, June 2, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Use the power of bacon to flavor three amazing baked goods: peppered bacon farm bread, bacon cheddar scones, and sweet and salty bacon pecan sandy cookies.
$125/person. Location: BAKE! 3723 Plaza Dr., Ann Arbor
Register here.

The 8th Annual Bacon Ball
Thursday, June 1, 7:00pm – 9:30pm

Cochon de Lait, A Dance with Flame: Clark Rachal from Avoyelles Parish in Louisiana Cajun country cooks up a traditional pig roast. Nom nom.
$75/person. Location: Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
Register here.

Bacon Beautiful Music
Thursday, June 1, Doors 7:30pm, Music 8:00pm – Midnight

Musicians, poets, and more will take to the stage to make music and entertain all of our campers!
This event is free. Location: Ann Arbor Distilling Co., 220 Felch St, Ann Arbor
Register here.

Fresh Taste of Detroit
Friday, June 2, 12:00pm – 9:30pm

Camp Bacon hits the road with Zingerman’s Food Tours for a high-energy tasting jaunt through the markets, kitchens, and breweries of Detroit.
$295/person. Location: Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
Register here.

The Main Event
Saturday, June 3, 8:00am – 4:00pm

A day of meaty speakers, lots of learning, and of course, all the bacon you can eat. (Plus a whole hog bacon raffle is also included in the program.)
$195/person. Location: Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, 8540 Island Lake Rd., Dexter
Register here.

Camp Bacon Street Fair
Sunday, June 4, 11:00am – 2:00pm

Celebrate great pork with this a three-hour, family-friendly street fair.
This event is free. Location: Sunday Artisan Market in Kerrytown, 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor
No registration necessary.