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Members of the Brattleboro Boys & Girls Club took a picture with Kevin Bacon's cardboard cutout during this year's Fourth of July parade.

BRATTLEBORO >> All things bacon is the theme of this weekend's Baconfest at the Guilford Fairgrounds.

However, despite an online campaign to bring a very special ham to town, Kevin Bacon won't be able to make it.

"Hey, this is Kevin Bacon sending my regrets to the good people of Brattleboro, Vt.," said Bacon in a video posted on Twitter. "I wish I could be there this weekend. I'm in Vancouver shooting a film. I really appreciate all the support and the hilarious effort that Brattleboro and the state of Vermont has made to try to get me there."

Bacon noted that he has two sisters who live in Vermont which he called "that great state."

"I am a big fan of Vermont. Unfortunately, I gotta be working. So, have a great time and enjoy the bacon."

While Kevin Bacon won't be able to make it to town this weekend, the Latchis Theatre will be playing one of his most famous movies, "Footloose," at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

WKVT Radio and the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, which co-host the Baconfest, had encouraged people to use social media to ask Bacon to come to town for the festival, and the response was huge enough for him to send out a gracious video regret.

"We had hoped he would respond but we really never imagined he would and when he did it in a video, it was just amazing and wonderful," said Kate O'Connor, executive director of the chamber. O'Connor is also a member of the Brattleboro Select Board. "Even though the intent was to get him to come to Brattleboro, our real idea was to bring attention to Brattleboro. He understood that, thanking Brattleboro and the state."


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The social media campaign included entreaties from such notables as Gov. Peter Shumlin, Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch, said O'Connor, but also included hundreds of tweets and messages from ordinary people in and around Brattleboro, with pictures of them holding a cardboard cutout of Bacon.

"We are totally excited that Kevin Bacon responded with his video," said Peter Case, operations manager at WKVT, who goes by the on-air moniker, Fish. "It really put a fine point on this super fun event. We're happy that he recognizes it as fun and furthermore helped us create a real media event."

Both O'Connor and Case said they hope to get Bacon to come to next year's festival.

"Maybe even see if the Bacon Brothers can come and do a benefit concert for one of our local charities," said Case, speaking about Bacon's rock-and-roll band.

This is the third year that WKVT and the chamber have sponsored the Baconfest — "Bacon, Blues, and Beers" — which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Guilford Fairgrounds.

The festival includes house brewed favorites from the Whetstone Station in Brattleboro, including the Baconator Beer and the blues of the Mark Manley Band.

There will also be a contest this year.

"If you are amongst the Bacon Addicted you should share that by cooking your favorite bacon inspired dish and entering it into the third annual cooking contest," stated a press release from WKVT. Enter into the contest at www.wkvt.com

At the fairgrounds there will be a 5k and 10k race, the "Hog Jog," which all are invited to participate in. The fun run is sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce. It will begin on Weatherhead Hollow Road in Guilford. "Golden Hog" trophies will be presented to the top three male and female winners in each race. All runners also will receive an "I Run For Bacon" T-shirt.

Food available at the Baconfest will come from Sweet Carol Swine, New England House, Four Columns, Hidden Spring Maple, Bacon Jams, Spring Brook Farm, Bruce's Lemonade, Anon, Maple Craft Foods, Faithful Few Tattoo, Petite Treats, Entera, Rigani, Chubby's BBQ Sauce, Top Tier Barly, Antonio Two's, Westminster Meats, Tom Knows Salsa, Andre's Polish Sausage, Island Cow Ice Cream, Brattleboro Food Co-Op, Debbie's Sweet, Pioneer Bean Hummus, Hound Dog, Vermont Sriracha, Grillbillies, Solar City, and Tito's Tacos.

For more information, visit www.brattleborochamber.org, www.wkvt.com, or www.theater.latchis.com.

Kevin Bacon's video can be found at https://twitter.com/search?q=kevin%20bacon%20brattleboro&src=typd.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. James Mosher can be contacted at jamesmosher24@gmail.com.