Gov. Terry Branstad has pardoned a young pig from central Iowa in celebration of a popular bacon festival.

Branstad stood outside the governor's mansion in Des Moines Friday morning to pardon the Berkshire breed named Bonnie. The ceremony was ahead of Saturday's Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Bonnie is about 2 1/2 months old. She was selected at random from a farm in State Center that works under Eden Farms. A spokesman for the Des Moines-based coalition of independent family farmers says Bonnie is expected to become a pet and enjoy the great outdoors.

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