Let's get this out of the way regarding the Delta Fair's pig wrastlin' contests: "PIG SAFETY COMES FIRST!" You got that? They are all-caps serious. That means the four members of each team are not allowed to hit or otherwise hurt the pig when attempting in the mud to get that wriggling pig into a barrel, butt-first, within a 45-second time frame.
Other pig wrastlin' points of interest: 1) Teams are encouraged to have a theme. That means costumes and a team cheer. 2) Team members must stick around to help get the pig out of the barrel. 3) Outdoor showers are available to help wash off the mud. Team members should bring a change of clothes.
The contests are divided into five categories: peewee for those 10 and under; junior, 11 to 15 years old; men, ages 16 and up; women, ages 16 and up; and co-ed, ages 16 and up. First-place winners from each category will receive $100 cash. Winners for best costume will also receive $100.
"The pig usually wins," says Delta Fair president Mark Lovell, noting that out of the 40 teams that competed last year, maybe six or seven got the pig in the barrel.
Younger contestants take on pigs in the 30-pound range and adults 160 pounds, but Lovell says that strength isn't necessarily an asset when wrastlin'. "It's speed and technique," he says. "You want to work as a team, surround the pig, and get ready for adventure."
Pig Wrastlin' at the Delta Fair & Musical Festival, Friday, September 2nd, and Thursday, September 8th. Entry fees are $20 per team. For information or to sign up, go to deltafest.com. The Delta Fair runs September 2nd-11th.