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Iowa Gov.Terry Branstad Pardons Pig Before Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A young pig has won a reprieve from the frying pan just as Iowa's popular bacon festival is about to begin.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad pardoned the 30-pound, 2 1/2-month-old Berkshire pig named Bonnie on Friday morning.

The pardon took place outside the governor's mansion in Des Moines in a ceremony ahead of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival held Saturday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

More than 8,000 people are expected to eat more than 10,000 pounds of bacon at the festival. Tickets for this year's event sold out in just over three minutes.

Branstad says he's pardoned turkeys before, but never a pig. Bonnie was selected at random from a State Center farm affiliated with Eden Farms. An Eden Farms spokesman says Bonnie will become a farm pet.

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