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Algona cooks up pepperoni salute

Hormel plant inspires festival

September 2, 2012
By JOE SUTTER, , Messenger News

ALGONA - Algona may be the only town in Iowa that celebrates pepperoni.

On Sept. 15, the town will hold a festival in honor of this locally made product.

"We're working in conjunction with Hormel Foods," said Vicki Mallory, executive director of Algona Chamber of Commerce. "Pepperoni is the only thing manufactured at the Algona plant. It is largest pepperoni manufacturing plant in the Hormel company, and it's right here in Algona, Iowa. I've been thinking for years about how to do something fun with that."

The first-ever Pepperoni Festival will feature a pizza-eating contest and a pepperoni recipe contest, as well as games for kids.

"One of our local companies in the pork industry is sponsoring some inflatable games. One local pizza place is going to have a food stand with pepperoni pizza," Mallory said.

The event is put on by the Chamber and organized by Hormel, which will donate the prizes for the two contests. Some employees at the plant also signed up for the dunk tank.

Fact Box

If you go:

What: Pepperoni Festival

When: Sept. 15

Where: Carnegie Lawn area, Nebraska Street, downtown Algona


3 p.m. - Games, inflatables, dunk tank.

4 p.m. - Pepperoni recipe contest.

5 p.m. - Pizza eating contest.

7:30 p.m. - Beer garden opens for street dance.

8 p.m. - Street dance featuring Standing Hampton.

For information and sign-up sheets: Visit

Sign-up sheets for the two contests are available on the Chamber's website, Pizza-eating contestants must be over 16 and sign a waiver.

For the recipe contest, creative cooks will bring one recipe to the Chamber office and get a voucher for a free pack of Hormel pepperoni. They then bring their entry to the lawn area before 4 p.m. so the judges can determine the best use of pepperoni.

"I know people are talking about salads, breads, dips - you can make a snack out of pepperoni pieces by just baking them, and as they dry they get crunchy," Mallory said. "There's lots of creativity out there."



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