Beloved BaconFest fries up funds for Dad’s Garage Theatre Saturday

The city’s Dogwood Festival may be larger but it would be tough to find a springtime tradition in Atlanta with a more devout following than BaconFest. The 11th annual rain or shine benefit for Dad’s Garage Theatre Company at 280 Elizabeth Street sizzles into action Saturday afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m. and will focus on three basics of human existence: Bacon, Beer and Bands.
Thanks to a generous donation from The Vortex Bar & Grill, attendees will have 1,000 pounds of bacon to sniff, snort and shovel down their gullets. Dad’s Garage artistic director Kevin Gillese strongly advises the faithful to buy tickets online in advance. The Portioned Pig level is $25 in advance and $35 at the door, The Bottomless Bacon is $50 and $60 and The Whole Hog is $100 and $110.
“Last year we sold out and had to turn a line full of people away,” Gillese tells Intel. “People were understandably upset. I mean, what’s worse than walking up, smelling all that bacon and thinking, ‘I’ve got my Saturday figured out’ and then being turned away!”
In addition to cold beer courtesy of PBR and Terrapin, bands performing include Young Orchids (at right), Mike LaSage and the Stumbling Troubadours, Darling Norman and Cousin Dan.
Bacon-related games will include a drunken spelling bee (there’s a two-beer minimum to sign up), a heavy petting zoo (where you’re placed in a cage and a volunteer wearing a furry mascot costume promises to grope you) and a wheelchair obstacle course devised by Dad’s Garage artist Tommy Futch, who himself, uses a wheelchair.
Explains Gillese of the obstacle course origins: “Basically, Tommy said, ‘People think getting around in one of these is soo easy. Just wait until they try it!'”
Did we mention the redneck/hobo wine tasting?  “A lot of fundaisers will have fancy wine tastings,” he says. “But we’re a comedy theatre company and we consider ourselves connoisseurs of crap wine. The trick is to be able to tell the difference. We probably won’t have anything over $4 a bottle.”
And FYI, potential BaconFest goers, the event is not kid or pet friendly (“things are rude, crass and people are drunk,” Gillese advises) and Dad’s Garage suggests you either take MARTA or a cab to the festivities.
Gillese’s best advice? Pace yourself. “Last year, I had four or five BLTs, multiplied by that many beers and I kinda collapsed in on myself,” he explains. “It wasn’t pretty.”