Thousands of attendees from across the area and beyond traveled to partake in the 2nd Annual North Carolina Bacon Festival in Rocky Point, Sept. 28.

The event was a festival of the senses for bacon lovers. Bacon scented candles and dried bacon preserves were among the fanciful ways vendors and artisans put their own twist on the event’s theme.

“The festival was so delicious, I ate way too much,” said Sarah Carpenter, festival patron and military spouse. “Everything smelled and looked so good, you could not help but want to try everything. It was really nice to go to a themed festival where there was actually a lot of that thing to try. Often with the smaller festivals there are (few items) with the (food) in the festival name, and that’s always a little disappointing. The bacon festival delivered on the bacon, though.”

More unorthodox plates offered chocolate covered or candied bacon, while somewhat traditional meals consisted of bacon stuffed shrimp cakes and bacon wrapped sausage dogs. The event also featured pig races, helicopter rides, inflatables, live music and a children's pageant.

“I like checking out the local festivals,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Nick Johnson, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Division. “I mean, I really enjoy bacon so I enjoyed the bacon festival.”