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One thousand tickets were purchased for the sold-out Bacon & Bourbon event benefitting Darkness to Light, an organization that helps to raise awareness and educate adults about the prevention of child sex abuse in their communities. GOCO Events presented the culinary smorgasbord, bringing 11 local chefs and 18 distilleries together in a night filled with good cheer for a good cause.

A large crowd gathered at the Memminger Auditorium on a cold February night as attendees waited patiently to trade their ticket in for their rocks glass at the door. One ticket included participation in fun activities, a live music show, endless amounts of culinary creations, and ever-flowing bourbon. Once inside, glasses could be taken to any of the 18 distillery booths in the middle of the room to be filled with custom-made cocktails and a variety of bourbon, on the rocks or neat. Chefs’ tables lined the walls presenting handcrafted pork dishes so distinct that there were surprises around each corner: candied bacon ice cream, bacon-infused cotton candy wrapped around a strip of bacon, and a pork and potato gnocchi dish were a few of the items on the creative menu.

Live music by Postmodern Jukebox, well known for performing old-timey jazz renditions of familiar and modern pop songs, kept guests entertained throughout the night. The band received great reviews and an enthralled crowd consistently surrounded the stage. Other entertainment included a mechanical bull, so popular that more than 100 patrons tested their endurance to see how long they could ride. The lines were constantly packed for laser skeet shooting, where participants could use laser-rigged Italian shotguns to shoot clays in the courtyard.

The night was equally as successful for the patrons as well as Darkness to Light, which received $3,000 for their cause. GOCO Events founder Rebecca Gosnell says that because of this year’s huge turnout, there are already plans for a second Bacon & Bourbon event in early February 2015.