INDIANAPOLIS – Bacon for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch, ribs for dinner. Pigs play a versatile and important role in our diets and our economy here in the Circle City. In fact, pigs play a huge part of industry throughout the Hoosier State as Indiana is the fifth largest pork producer in the United States. That’s why the Indiana State Fair and Indiana Pork Farmers are declaring 2010 the “Year of Pigs.” The 2010 Indiana State Fair is just the latest addition at the Indiana State fairgrounds that is a must attend Indianapolis event.
Indiana is home to 3,000 pork farmers who produce 8 million pigs and feed 25 million people annually. The Indiana pork industry – the fifth largest in the country – employs 15,000 people, all dedicated to producing a safe and high-quality product. The Indiana State Fair hopes to share those messages with fairgoers through a number of fun pigs- and pork-related activities.
“There’s quite a bit of economic development that comes from the pork industry in Indiana and we are a family-run industry,” said Mark York, president of the Indiana Pork Farmers. “What we manufacture goes out to your dinner plate and we take great pride in that. I view it as an honor for the Indiana State Fair to highlight our industry.”
Each year, the Indiana State Fair selects an agricultural product to showcase. Recent fairs have featured corn and Indiana hardwood. This year, through its partnership with the Indiana Pork Farmers, the fair hopes to educate Hoosiers to a vital component of the state’s economy while offering some fun, pig-themed events in the process.
The list of scheduled “Year of Pigs” events and activities includes:
- · 2010 Indiana State Fair Backyard BBQ Cook-off sponsored by Shoup’s Country Foods BBQ: Anyone can enter their favorite pork recipe utilizing Shoup’s Seasoning, Shoup’s BBQ Sauce or both. Set-up and cooking begins at 6 a.m. Aug. 18 in the Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building. Rules and entry forms are available at www.indianastatefair.com, under “Animals, Livestock & Online Entry,” then click “Online Entry/Premium Book Lists.” No entries will be accepted after Aug. 16.
- · Hedrick’s Racing Pigs: Pigs dart through a makeshift race course just east of the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand before zooming down the “ham stretch!” This fun, free family show takes place daily at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- · Celebrity Hog Calling Contest: Local celebrities try their hardest to imitate swine squealing at 3 p.m. in the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand Side Lot.
- · American Diabetes Association “Celebrity Kiss a Pig” Contest: Local business and media celebrities will pucker up to our portly friends at 10 a.m. Aug. 19 at the Buckle Up Trucks Main Street Stage. Vote for your favorite candidate by visiting www.indianastatefair.com, then clicking the “2010 Year of Pigs” section and then “Hamming It Up.”
- · “Go Hog Wild Indiana” YouTube video contest: Amateur movie-makers can win a $250 grand prize by showing their love of pork the Indiana State Fair in a two-minute video and sending it in or uploading it to YouTube. All entries must be received by Aug. 13 and the winner will be announced Thursday, Aug. 19 following the Daily Parade. Complete contest rules are available athttp://bit.ly/9OZke5 or www.indianastatefair.com.
- · Signature Food Contest: Pork is the main ingredient in this year’s Signature Food Contest. Voters picked the “Garbage Burger,” a pork patty layered with pulled pork as this year’s Signature Food. Other porked-up plates include Delia’s Pulled Pork Taco, Country Fried Bacon with peppered gravy, Delia’s Root Beer Ribs and “Pig in a Pancake.”
Other events include the World’s Largest Boar & Sow/Litter Contest in the Swine Barn (Aug. 6) and a Year of Pigs-themed cake contest in the Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building (pre-fair event set for July 30-31). Participants in the KC Masterpiece ® “Real Deal” Recipe Contest (Aug. 9) will have a chance to win tickets to the Aug. 14 Keith Urban concert at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand. Participants can submit beef, pork or chicken entries from 1-3 p.m. at the northeast entrance of the Ellison Bakery Home & Family Arts Building. Additional rules and entry forms are available at www.indianastatefair.com.
Naturally, pigs will also be on-display in the Swine Barn throughout the duration of the fair and visitors can pick up pig-related products like bacon-flavored beans, lip balm and mints (no joke) in the Gift Shop presented by Indiana Pork Farmers on Main Street.
About the Indiana Pork Farmers
Indiana Pork is a trade association representing all pork producers in the state through the Pork Checkoff program, and represents the advocacy needs of the industry through a voluntary membership in the Indiana Pork Advocacy Coalition. For more information, visit www.indianapork.com.
About the Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair is the state’s largest multi-day event attracting more than 900,000 people annually. Nationally recognized for offering the best in entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premiere facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair is an annual tradition for generations of Hoosiers. Admission is $7 in advance, $8 at the gate – kids 5 and younger are free. For more information, please visit www.indianastatefair.com.