Fall is full of festivals in Georgia and throughout the Southeast, but few are anticipated more than the annual Big Pig Jig. This festival and barbecue competition draws visitors and competitors throughout the nation to nearby Vienna, Georgia each year. The Perry Wellness Center family is among those who look forward most – some as attendees, some as sponsors, and some as participants in the famous barbecue competition.
Even before the big days this year – November 5 and 6, preparations were being made by staff and peers. Jeff Williams, PWC project manager loaded up lawnmower, tiller, and gas for an advance trip to Vienna and the Big Pig site, with assistance from Kelvin and other peers, pictured above. After 18 months of lying empty, the plot of land reserved for invited guests of the Perry Oil Company was in immediate need of grass cutting. Perry Wellness Center’s campus now sits on the site which was once the center of operations for the Perry family-founded business.
Meanwhile, PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry practiced his culinary skills, along with other members of the Papa’s Cookers barbecue team, as they sought to have winning entries in several of the judged events.
So, what IS the Big Pig Jig? It is a championship-level barbecue contest and multi-event festival sponsored by the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce and the Memphis Barbecue Network. Barbecue categories include: Whole Hog, Pulled Pork, Pork Ribs, Chicken, and BBQ Sauce. In addition to the barbecue judging and sampling, the two-day event includes live entertainment, arts and crafts displays, children’s activities, and specialty food vendors.
The nationally known festival has received numerous awards and been placed on prestigious lists, including:
- Best Georgia Festival (Southeast Festivals and Events Association)
- Top 100 Events in America (American Bus Association)
- America’s Top 500 Festivals (Travel Agent Magazine)
- Top Ten list of World’s Best Barbecue Contests (Discovery Travel Channel)
- Top 20 Events in the Southeast (Southeast Tourism Society)
- World’s1001 Most Extraordinary Events (Wild Planet)
Do we have your attention yet? Now that we’ve told you about the history and significance of the Big Pig Jig, we’d like to share some memories – and one big announcement – from this year’s festival. Stay tuned for Part II in our next blog post!