New location, new management for Hog Day
Hog Day, the traditional Hillsborough celebration of North Carolina barbecue, which was canceled earlier this year, will return Friday and Saturday with new sponsors and a new location.
The cook-off and related events will take place Friday and Saturday at the Efland Ruritan Club, 3106 U.S. 70 West, in Efland. Some 20 cooking teams have signed up to compete for prizes, said Craig Lloyd, vice chairman of the Hog Day Committee and president of the newly chartered Optimist Club of Orange County. In addition to barbecue that will be for sale, Hog Day will also have bands, booths from non-profit groups, craft vendors and other activities. The Efland Ruritan also will be putting on an antique car show.
Earlier this year, the Hillsborough-Orange County Chamber of Commerce canceled the event, stating that the organization wanted to devote more time to economic development. A group of volunteers got together to claim the event and began looking for locations. The Efland Ruritan stepped up and offered to be the site for the event, Lloyd said. The Ruritan recently hosted the Relay for Life fundraiser. Given its ability to accommodate that type of event “it seemed like a good fit for us this year,” Lloyd said.
At the same time the Hog Day Committee was forming, volunteers also were busy chartering a new chapter of the Optimist Club. The Optimist Club is now the presiding non-profit that runs Hog Day.
Visitors will be able to park at several lots next to and near the Efland Ruritan building. Orange Public Transportation will provide shuttle buses. Visitors should check the Hog Day website (www.hogday.org) for updates and information about specific locations for parking and shuttles, Lloyd said.
Traditionally, cooks representing both the eastern and western North Carolina styles of barbecue compete for prizes. In past years, awards for side dishes also have been offered, and of course plenty of barbecue will be for sale.
All of the profits from this year’s Hog Day event will go toward grants for schools and non-profit organizations in the community. In the weeks ahead, the Optimist Club will send out more information about how non-profit groups can apply for the grants, Lloyd said.
The volunteers had no trouble drumming up enthusiasm for Hog Day, Lloyd said. “It’s kind of our county fair. … There are a lot of people who have been cooking in it for many years,” he said. For this year’s Hog Day, “we’ve got a great team, a great event and a great history that we are excited to continue.”
Go and Do
WHAT: 2014 Hog Day
WHEN: Friday, 6 p.m. until 10; Saturday (June 21), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Efland Ruritan Club, 3106 U.S. 70 West in Efland
ADMISSION: Free. For updates about parking, visit www.hogday.org.