It’s now Hogg Day, but the barbecue is still there
The 31st annual Hillsborough Hog Day will get a new name, one that honors the town’s colonial history and the festival’s tradition for local and regional barbecue.
This year’s event will be held Friday and Saturday with the new name, Hogg Day, in honor of James Hogg. Hogg was a merchant who left his native Scotland in 1774, moved to North Carolina, and became a partner in the Transylvania Company, a trustee of the University of North Carolina and a leader in patriot activity as a member of the Hillsborough Safety Committee. His home was located near River Park, the Hogg Day site, and his grave is two blocks in the other direction. A new “Hogg Day” mascot dressed in colonial garb will be making the rounds at this year’s event.
The event is presented by the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Friday’s hours are 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will be in the River Park at 140 E. Margaret Lane behind the courthouse in downtown Hillsborough. Admission is free.
Hogg Day will begin Friday night, with music, activities for kids, lots of different foods, and the smell of cooking pork. This year the cooker teams will compete in four different categories – pork ribs, chicken, pork barbecue and “anything but” (game, beef, vegetables, desserts).
A grand champion will be crowned from cookers competing in all four categories. Winners will receive trophies and cash. Winners in the chicken and pork rib categories will be judged and announced by 11 p.m. Friday. The pork barbecue and “anything but” categories will be judged at 10 a.m. and noon respectively on Saturday, with the winners and Grand Champion Cooker Team announced at 1 p.m.
The festival also will have arts and crafts booths as well as booths representing Hillsborough-area businesses and chamber members, local nonprofit organizations, and other vendors. This year the food line-up will include local food trucks. Barbecue will be available for purchase from award-winning cooker Mark Johnson through his Hog Heaven Restaurant on site.
The chamber will be using “Hogg Dollars” for food purchases instead of cash. Hogg Dollars, in increments of $5 and $1, will be redeemable at all food vendor booths throughout the event. No cash will be accepted.
Antique cars will be on view, including hot-rods, street rods, classics and vintage automobiles. Children’s games and inflatables will be available, along with colonial games.
Live music will be on stage Friday evening and all day Saturday. The beer garden operated by Hillsborough’s Mystery Brewery Company will provide beer to those over 21 in a tent near the music stage both days.
The event is festival style, and visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair.
Hillsborough Hogg Day continues to emphasize being green with ongoing efforts in reducing waste, and composting and recycling as much possible.
Town officials are requiring that pets be left at home.
For more information, call the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber at 919-732-8156 or visit www.hillsboroughchamber.com.