Downtown going ‘Hog Wild’ for festival

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, May 12, 2011

Downtown will be watered-down with volunteer firefighters thisweekend, but hopefully the only fire in sight will be the one slowroasting gorgeous pieces of meat over an open flame.

Grill masters will pit their pork or chicken against one anotherand families will enjoy a full day of activities at the LincolnVolunteer Firefighters Association inaugural Hog Wild Barbeque CookOff and Family Festival on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m.

“We need everybody to come out,” said Loyd Star Volunteer FireDepartment Chief and event co-chair Mark Porter. “We got a littlebit of something for everybody.”

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All around downtown and in the downtown parking lots variousactivities will keep visitors entertained as a number of vendorsselling food, jewelry, crafts and other items will provide a funday of shopping. Kids and adults will also enjoy a dunking booth,fun jumps, mechanical bull, several musical acts and otherattractions all day long.

“We just want people to come out and enjoy it so we can continue tohave it and make it grow,” said Hog Chain Volunteer Fire DepartmentPresident and event co-chair Chris Reid.

As grillers begin to move in to the area and prepare to cook Fridayevening, area politicians will also be getting ready to let off alittle smoke during the political rally, which is scheduled for 10a.m. Saturday

“What we envision is a service to all the people in an electionyear,” said Lincoln County Civil Defense Director CliffordGaley.

More than likely stealing the show Saturday will be the grillingcreations of contestants and firefighters.

The association will be roasting a whole hog and selling pulledpork plates. Porter also said, as of Wednesday, 16 contestants areexpected to compete in the barbeque cook off.

Flooding the air from the South parking lot will be the smells ofchicken, brisket and ribs as cook off participants compete to earncash prizes in each category. A tent will also be set up and, foran admission price, festival-goers will vote for their favoritegrilled food.

“There are several of them that will be cooking extra, so therewill be something for people to sample,” said Porter.

While the event promises to be finger lickin’ good, the functionwill be serving the eight volunteer firefighter departments inLincoln County a dish of cold hard cash.

“We’re just trying to get some extra money to cover operatingexpenses, fuel costs and equipment for our firefighters,” saidReid.

There are more than 100 volunteer firefighters in the county and itcosts roughly $7,500 to outfit a firefighter in basic gear. Savinglives and homes does not come cheap.

“We can always use money, especially with our fuel costs right now;they’re really putting a dent in our budget,” said Reid.

The money earned during the event will be split between all thevolunteer fire departments in the county. Funded through mostlydonations, the money earned through the festival will be greatlyappreciated.

“Some (departments) might be in a little better shape than others,but ain’t none of us got a whole lot,” said Porter.

While this is the largest fundraiser of the association, they havereceived a lot of positive feedback and hope to make the cook offan annual event.

“You wouldn’t believe the people that have called me the last twodays,” said Porter. “It’s going to be something to see Ithink.”

It’s still not too late for vendors, contestants or questions. Foradditional information Porter can be reached at 601-757-1772 orReid at 601-757-6326.