This past Saturday, September 24th, Adam and I ventured down to Fern Island for the Beer and Bacon Fest. Who can pass up a day of Beer and Bacon? Definitely not this guy!
The Beer and Bacon Fest was put on by Wausau Events. Executive Director of Wausau Events, Lindsey Lewitzke, went to a similar event in a larger city and decided to bring a Beer and Bacon Fest to Wausau. I am so happy she did!!
Fern Island is quite accessible, so I was happy the event was held there. Over 800 advanced tickets for the Beer and Bacon Fest were sold, so there was quite a crowd at Fern Island as we arrived. Despite the crowd, we were able to snag a handicapped parking spot! Bonus! A quick roll over the bridge and I entered into Beer and Bacon utopia! We paid $40 to enter and we were armed with a commemorative mug! Designated Driver tickets were only $15!
According to the Wausau Daily Herald, there was over 40 breweries serving over 130 craft beers. I could only find 2 gluten free beers, one of which was sold out by the time I arrived. I wish there were more gluten free options. However, I had a Stone GF IPA, which I really enjoyed. Adam was able to enjoy a larger variety of the beer. We both found the beer vendors to be passionate about their craft and eager to share their knowledge.
10 local restaurants served up bacon delights, but only one restaurant served bacon in it natural glorious state. In addition to bacon, there were brats, Palo Popcorn and other bacon inspired tibits. My favorite was City Grill’s Bacon and Guacamole Bite. What made this dish unique was the sweetness of the guacamole combined with the saltiness of the bacon…a marriage made in heaven! I am a HUGE Palo Popcorn fan. We feasted on the crunchy goodness of bacon and cheddar! Despite having been born and raised in Wisconsin, I am not a brat fan. Don’t Judge! However, I did try a Cheese Brat and a Bloody Mary brat. I like Bloody Marys but not in the brat form!
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To add to the experience, The Spicy Thai Band played everything from classic rock to newer pop. The band was very entertaining and interacted well with the crowd, hosting several toasts and tossing Frisbees. Great music goes well with beer and bacon!
Despite the number of people, I found the crowd to be aware of my wheelchair and I had no issues moving about. It always makes my experience better when people are as aware of my chair as I am of their toes! As the event progressed, the crowd fun progressed! I even scored a kiss on the cheek from a pretty lady!
One of the highlights was meeting a man named Mongo from San Antonio. He waved me over and introduced himself. A friend of his also has Cerebral Palsy, so he was quite comfortable talking to me. It was nice to meet someone new and so friendly. I hope to run into him again, as I forgot to exchange contact information. Maybe I can go on a “Where’s Mongo” excursion!
Since this is a blog about accessibility, I guess I should mention that! I am still in a beer and bacon euphoria! As I mentioned above, parking was not an issue. The pathways to the Beer and Bacon Fest were obstacle free and easy to maneuver. The booths were at a perfect height and I could easily interact with the vendors. There was one wheelchair accessible porta-potty. Overall, the event planners picked a very wheelchair friendly location for the Beer and Bacon Fest! Kudos!
I will definitely be returning to the 2nd Annual Beer and Bacon Fest next year! This event was not only wheelchair friendly, it was geared toward my age group. Most of all, it had Beer and Bacon…what more does a man need?
Until next time, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’ (and keep eating bacon!)
Photo Credit: Adam Little