Going Hog Wild

Pigmania showcases diversity
of the business community

Money raised from pork project
goes to a scholarship fund

(August 2019) – Originality and imagination are ongoing once again around Madison, Ind., for the annual “Pigmania” concrete pig decorating contest, part of the Madison Ribberfest, set for Aug. 16-18. Any business or person in Jefferson County can participate by adopting a pig.

Photo by Sam Swartz

Kelly Culp, left, of Rivertown Chiropractic, poses with her pig dressed ready for a gym workout. Zach Jones, right, shows off Aaron’s pig, “Thanos.”

Business owners who have adopted a pig have decorated it to their liking. Some businesses do a play on words; others do something related to their business. Regardless, it’s always a great surprise to see the one-of-a-kind pigs and the creative designs conceived by the various business owners.
During the Ribberfest, people can vote on the pig they like best by putting tickets or money in tin cans, which will be near each pig. With more than 40 pigs, the funds raised all go to a scholarship for a high school graduate for college. The judges select a winner, and the results of the public “voting” results in the “People’s Choice Award.” 
“I like the fact that everyone in the community, at least businesses that are in the chamber, I believe, all do them, and you get to see everyone’s individual flavor in every store,” said Zach Jones, an employee from local participant, Aaron’s.
Festival-goers can view all the concrete pigs that will be lined up at the far west end of the festival grounds on Vaughn Drive. Each year the pigs are delivered in late spring or early summer to the businesses. Participants then can begin giving their pig a makeover. Some businesses choose only to make slight changes each year, while others completely transform their pig.
One of the participants, Rivertown Chiropractic, has been doing the Pigmania pigs for many years. It took the next three years for them to come up with a new idea from their original design.
“I painted it the first year, and this year is the first year for a makeover,” said Kelly Culp, Rivertown Chiroprac-tic’s Director of Wellness and Marketing. “We have a wellness center downstairs that not a lot of people know about. He has a fitness theme with sweatbands, sweat-shorts and belly shirt. He is ready to work out.”
“I think it’s fun to see the creativity that people have. The different ideas people come up with are sometimes pretty incredible. It’s fun to see how people come up with their own ideas and do some unique things,” Culp said.
Throughout the rest of the year, when Ribberfest isn’t going on, people and visitors will find the concrete pigs sitting all over Madison.

Photo by Sam Swartz

Kristen Kouba poses with the German American Bank pig.

Aaron’s has been doing the Pigmania and creating pigs for the last seven years. Each year, the staff creates a very unique pig that brings attention to the eye. Last year their pig was “Phineas and Ferb.”
“We have a pig coloring contest, where we let kids come in and they color pigs on a worksheet, and then we pick the best one,” Jones said. “We put the kids’ design on our pig, so we let our customers’ kids design our pig.”
This year, the kids designed the cool “Thanos” from Marvel, who is a fictional super villain from the movie “Avengers.”
“He has the infinity gauntlet on, and all his armor on from the movies. We have been calling him ‘Hamos’,” Jones said.
German American Bank has been designing Pigmania pigs for more than 10 years. “We used to be called River Valley and turned into German American. It’s an imagination of people holding hands, so it’s like a community bank even though we have grown into a bigger bank, we are still a local community, so that’s why the hands are together because we come together as a community,” said the bank’s Customer Service Specialist Kristen Kouba.

The original idea for Pigmania came not only from the meat cooking portion of the festival but also to pay tribute to Madison’s long history as a pork producing town.

Back to August 2019 Ribberfest Articles.



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