Live music, cold brews and pork: Bacon Jam takes over downtown

John Bennett of Mayfield, left, buys a beer from Bill Felter, owner and brewer of Serious Brewing Company of Howes Cave, during the annual Bacon Jam at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion area in downtown Gloversville Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

GLOVERSVILLE — Bacon Jam seems to get bigger every year.

“When I’m at these events, I feel like I’m in downtown Saratoga,” said Mike Hauser, who was manning a booth for the Parkhurst Foundation. “We should have more of them.”

Hauser’s feelings were supported by Downtown Development Specialist Jennifer Jennings. “In two hours from the start, we sold 200 event bands, and last year we sold 180 for the whole event,” she said.

The wristbands were only for those who were old enough to buy alcohol.

“The event is amazing,” she added. “Every year it grows. We see new faces from outside Fulton and Montgomery counties.”

She expected the total turnout to well exceed the 3,800 who came last year.

“It’s good food, good music and good times” is the way Ryan Austin of St. Johnsville summarized it.

Local beers and hard cider were available. Serious Brewing Company came from Howes Cave in Schoharie County to sell their own brands of beer.

Bill Felter, the owner and brewer, said local brewing is a big phenomenon in the state with 443 breweries throughout.

“A lot of people like to support local these days—fresh beer that’s made in the neighborhood,” he said.

“People are looking for something new and different, and we can really be creative.”

The hops used to make beer varies by the soil in which it is grown. “You’re able to get hops with different flavors,” he said.

Leslie Ford, a board member of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth, said, “We’re really impressed with the crowd. We’ve got a lot of positive comments on the food and the variety.”

Besides the bacon, there was a lot piggish about the event.

The Gloversville Public Library gave out mood pencils with the note “Pig out on books!”

Terry Hutchinson and Ed Klingville, both of Glen, brought pigs in wagons named “Tammy Swine-ette” and “Albert Ein-swine” respectively, which Terry calls “emotional therapy” pigs.

“They just make people smile,” she said, adding the animals have been in 135 nursing homes in 24 counties in the state and some in New Hampshire.

Donald Williams, an area historian and author, brought not only his books but some of the implements farmers once used to turn pigs into eatable food. “People are so far away from the source of their food,” he said. “You have to grow a pig on a farm to have bacon on the table.”

Heather Lynn of Gloversville said she enjoyed “the bacon and the beer, getting out into the community on a beautiful day.” She said she’d like to have one or more food trucks available every Friday evening.

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By Kerry Minor

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