This year will mark the 31st annual Big Pig Jig, taking place in Vienna Georgia. The very first Big Pig Jig began in 1982 when a talented group of barbecue enthusiasts disagreed over who among them could cook up the most delectable pig. It was decided that the only real way to settle the dispute was to hold a pig cook off! As the gourmets' creativity grew, so did the event. A tradition took root and has become something larger than the originators could have ever imagined. Today, the Big Pig Jig is highly anticipated and is of Georgia's biggest events, receiving national attention. The Jig has been listed in Travel Agent Magazine, featured on Food Networks "All American Festivals" and spotlighted in a one hour special entitled "The Big Pig Jig." The Jig was also named among the Discovery channels top ten list of the "World's Best Barbecue Contests".
Twenty teams competed at the first Big Pig Jig and the directions were simple; cook the best whole pig. The top seven teams were awarded $1,000 and there was enough barbecue for everyone to enjoy! After the huge success of the first event, organizers decided on a new location for the following year. A larger area off I-75 in Vienna, GA was selected and the facilities have been expanded every year to accommodate the ever increasing number of visitors. In 2004 the event had grown to include 120 competitors submitting over 400 entries. The contests are no longer limited to whole pigs; teams can now enter categories for shoulders, ribs, kettles of Brunswick stew, barbecued chicken and even barbecue sauce. In 2004 over 20,000 visitors were in attendance and 300 judges decided the winners.
Many other cook-off festivals have popped up in the south but no other festival can match what the Big Pig Jig offers. Today's Jig now includes a parade, art contest, battle of the bands contest and a 5k run. It also includes a DJ playing music to keep everyone dancing and on-site vendors selling everything from jewelry to hand made quilts. The Big Pig Jig is also family friendly; there will be a rock-climbing wall, a moonwalk and a bungee station for kids to jump around in this year.
There is total cash prize of $3,850 for each of the three main categories; hog, shoulder, rib and $750 for each of the six remaining categories with the The Grand Champion receiving an additional $2,500. With this money on offer, if you consider yourself a good cook fill out an entry form at BigPigJig.com to compete, the cut off date is October 5, 2012. If enjoying food is more your pace then sample 12 award-winning pigs for just $5. Get your forks ready, The Big Pig Jig is happening Nov 2nd and 3rd. The gates will open on Friday at noon and Saturday at 9 am. Here is the latest scheduling information:
Saturday, October 27
- 9:00 AM - Arts & Crafts, Food Booths, Children's Activities
- 11:00 AM - Big Pig Jig Preview Parade
Friday, November 2
Big Pig Jig Village
- 5:00 PM - Food Concessions, Crafts & Collectibles, Children's Activities
- 7:00 PM - Kiss the Big Pig (located in the Dooly County Livestock Show Barn)
- 9:00 PM - Concert (TBA)
Saturday, November 3
Big Pig Jig Village
- ALL DAY - Food Concessions, Crafts & Collectibles (located next to the Alfred Hawkins Pavilion), Children's Activities, Georgia Pork Producers Booth and Concessions Dooly County Show Barn
- 10:00 AM - BBQ Judging Begins
- 10:00 AM - Dooly County Livestock Association Livestock Show (located in the Dooly County Show Barn)
- 2:00 PM - Taste of the Jig (located behind the Beverage Booth)
- 6:00 PM - Raffle Ticket Drawings: Papa's Little Cooker
- 7:00 PM - Contest Winners Announced
- 9:00 PM - Concert - Atlanta Rhythm Section
- $8 Friday
- $8 Saturday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
- $10 Saturday after 3:00 PM
Big Jig Pig facility is located off exit 109 on the I-75 in Vienna, Georgia. For more information check out BigPigJig.com
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