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BENTONVILLE -- The Advertising and Promotion Commission gave $10,000 to four events at its Thursday meeting.

Commissioners approved giving $5,000 to the 2014 World Championship Squirrel Cook Off, $2,000 to the Bacon Bowl, $1,500 to the Benton County Fair and $1,500 to Trifest.

The Squirrel Cook Off has grown and will see teams come from at least 13 states this year, said Joe Wilson, representative for the event.

The amount of people who came last year was overwhelming, he said.

"I get emails everyday from people who are coming from across the country to come eat squirrel in Bentonville," Wilson told commissioners.

The money will go toward promotion, T-shirts, giveaways and setup costs, he said.

John McClure is working with Wilson to host the Bacon Bowl in conjunction with the Squirrel Cook Off this year. The Bacon Bowl was held in Fayetteville last year, McClure said.

Combining the two will make the event a marquee event for the state and region, he said.

The Bacon Bowl "will give each attendee, including children, a chance to determine the best bacon-inspired creation from among the competitors," the application letter reads.

The champion of the Bacon Bowl will win a trip to compete in the bacon division of the World Food Championships in Las Vegas. There he or she would have a chance to win $10,000 and compete in the finals where the prize is $50,000, McClure said.

"It's a great promotion for Bentonville and Arkansas, as well," he said.

Benton County Fair organizers are working on bringing two events to this year's festivities. Country artists Wade Hayes, Ty Herndon and Jamie O'Neal will perform concerts, and Dome of Death will showcase motorcycle riders in a large sphere cage, said Gann Nunnally, representative of the fair association.

"I think we can pull a wide range," he said. "These singers have a good following."

The three-day Trifest has more of an economic impact on the city than a one-day race, said Jeff Genova, event representative.

It's great promotion for Memorial Park as well the city, he said. Organizers are expecting about a 1,000 people, 600 of which will be participants. The remaining 400 would be family, friends and spectators, he said.

NW News on 07/25/2014

Print Headline: Squirrel Cook Off Receives Commission Money

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