National Pig Races back for sixth year

National Pig Races back for sixth year

This little piggy goes to Marathon,

This little piggy goes to the Stuffed Pig

 

What started as an out-of-the box idea on a business trip six years ago has since turned into a muddy, fun-filled, fund-raising weekend for local charities.

Raising $21,000 the first year and growing to $45,000 last year, Stuffed Pig Owner Karen Dennis says the bigger the event gets, the easier it is to raise funds for Grace Jones Day Care Center and Kreative Kids Academy in Marathon. And, it can’t happen without the help of her dedicated staff and pig race volunteers.

Skip and Sandy White, visiting from Massachusetts, plan their vacations around the pig days, making sure they do not head back north until the action is over. “It’s such a good laugh,” Skip said even after the two put in more than 60 hours of volunteering at the event.

The weekend is filled with swine-related competitions bringing out the competitive rivalries throughout the community. Locals and visitors pick and “bet” on a favorite pig to win during races that start Friday night, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. and run through Sunday until 6:30 p.m.

Rosaire’s Royal Racers travel the country and the pigs have names such as Harry Hambone, Shakin’ Bacon, Hermione Ham-Hock, Magnum P.I.G., and Spamela Anderson. National Pig Days are not just something made up by fun-loving, hog-hugging locals either; it is a nationally celebrated day throughout the country on March 1 that started back in 1972, according to Wikipedia.

One of the highlights of the event is Sheriff Rick Ramsay climbing on the mechanical pig during the “rodeo.” Last year, he netted $1,000 for charity for his 30-second ride before being thrown off. The more money he raises, the faster the pig flings. The only question is, how long will he last on the pig this year?

Other than the pigs, the silent auction is also a big draw. Dennis said the auction is huge this year and has everything from charter boat trips, gift cards to every restaurant in Marathon, and even Heat tickets. The popular “buy it now” feature will be available again this year. Grace Jones will also be selling raffle tickets to win a 50-inch TV.

Marathon’s Pig Day Founder Mike Cinque’s favorite part of the races: Monday morning. “It’s such a busy weekend, but so worth it,” he said.

And, last, but not least, the pork. Save room for the fantastic BBQ taking place all three days. 

National Pig Days Schedule

  • Friday, Feb. 27

Pig Races 6 and 8 p.m.

Music by Sam the DJ

Bounce Houses

  • Saturday, Feb. 28

Pig Races 10 a.m., noon, 4, 6, and 8 p.m.

Billy Washburn 1-5 p.m.

Bounce Houses and Rides

Raffles

  •  Sunday, Feb. 29

Pig Races 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Sam the DJ

Petting Zoo

Mechanical Pig Rodeo at 2:30 with cash prizes

Bounce Houses and Rides

Silent Auction

Raffles

 

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