How the festival came to be
Reminiscences of the founders April 16, 2004
Reprinted by permission from
The Weekly Observer
By DAVID L. GREEN
Ray McAlister, Snookie Lee, John (Bubber) Snow, Carolyn (Sissie) McAlister
|Their bands for that first festival were Billy Scott and the
Prophets, and the Morrisville Brass Band. "The first festival was
really, really raw," said Snow. "It snowed, sleeted and rained all in
one weekend, and it was cold!
There were twenty entrants in the first cookoff. One man, who shall remain unnamed, came from Georgetown. When he was asked where his cooker was, he said it was hooked to the back of his pickup. No trailer was to be found. "Well I'll be darned! It must be somewhere between here and Georgetown," he said. George Sutton rounded up a wood cooker for him to use and he entered anyway. Going to all the grocery stores, he bought all the charcoal he could find.
"I'm not much of a cook," he said, "But I have two good assistant cooks with me." - referring to the two women friends he had brought along. But about 3 AM the charcoal ran out and the half cooked hog was abandoned. When the judges arrived in the morning, the man had gone, so his hog was never judged. He later opened a restaurant in Georgetown.
For the second year, realizing that downtown was not a workable
place, they moved the festival to the village park, where it is still
held today. The second year a large tent was obtained and all the
dancing and much of the rest of the activities were done inside the
tent. In the second year the festival began to be a hit. The late Wesley
and Loretta Kennedy organized "The Hoggette Revue" featuring the staff
of Anderson State Bank. They arrived with a police escort and siren
serenade, in Badger Bazon's motor home, "straight from Detroit" to the
wild cheers of the crowd.