Great Arkansas Pig Out

The sign may have fallen a bit, but it still
marks the place!
In 1991, a group of good people living in Morrilton determined their little town had a problem. Many small towns in Arkansas have festivals, but Morrilton didn't. Figuring the town was in need of something that would bring the people together for a time and just be good clean family fun, an idea was born and when the 2nd weekend of August came around, the 1st Great Arkansas Pig Out was held.

The festival, with the effort and enthusiasm of the volunteers and sponsors was a great success. There were all kinds of booths by vendors offering items from arts and crafts to face painting to the main thing people think of when they think of Pig Out - food. There was food enough to feed thousands. There was barbecue, homemade ice cream, gumbo, watermelon, sausage on a stick, hamburgers, lemonade, and shrimp. Almost anything a person wanted could be found along the wall of the old high school gymnasium and in the adjoining city park. There was a hot dog eating contest and watermelon eating contest. The Great Arkansas Pig Out lived up to its name. Additionally, there were games and live entertainment to raise the level of fun even more. And what would a festival with a pig as its mascot be without a muddy, slippery Pig Chase for the kids? With all this fun, food, entertainment and the thousands that came to participate, the Great Arkansas Pig Out had indeed been a huge success and people planned for it to return the next year.

Not all of the entertainers will be stars, but give
them credit for having the guts to get up in front
of an audience and perform.
With such an oinking success on their hands, the next year the Pig Out was extended to a three day festival. The same traditions of food, fun, and family were and still are the main focus of the Pig Out. This same pattern carried on for the next 11 years. As the festival grew, so did the quality of the entertainment. From Jerry Reed, Justin Moore, Aaron Tippin, and the Randy Rogers Band, the Pig Out Festival has continually provided free concerts of up-and-coming stars of the country music world. In 1998, the Great Arkansas Pig Out even went international when the BBC sent a crew over to film the goings-on.

Mechanical Bull riding is always fun to watch!
Along with one of the largest car shows held in Arkansas, the Pig Out has also got sports covered. Events now include a tennis tournament, 5k run, the Pig Dig (a co-ed volleyball tournament), The Tour-de-Oink (a 40 mile long bike race), and a Horseshoe Tournament. However, the most entertaining event is the Pig Chase. What could be more clean fun for adults than watching a herd of kids chase after a pig in a very large pile of mud?

Kids always love bounce houses.
Since August in Arkansas isn't exactly the most comfortable place to be outside for long, the festival has changed dates several times. This year it was held on Sept 30 and Oct 1 and if the weather this time is any indication, I think they've found their timing and should keep it right there. A clear, blue sky with a high temperature of 75 and a slight breeze rustling the leaves of the trees which provided plenty of shade made the day simply perfect on the weather front.  In my book, this wasn't the absolute number 1 fun festival I've ever been to, but I've certainly been to worse and for a small town festival run entirely by volunteers, it was right nice!

Nice food vendor and arts & crafts strip
with wonderful shade!

Great car show.

Yeah, its got a Hemi.

In Arkansas, you make do with what ya have.