A festival curated and created around the almighty beast that is the piggy?
Yeah, I’ll go.
My first day in New Orleans and it was the annual Hogs for the Cause Festival. It started up in 2009 to support a local kid in his quest to beat the brain cancer he’d been diagnosed with. Unfortunately Ben Saratt Jr only lived to see three festivals, but now in its 8th year his legacy lasts in what has become an epic addition to the New Orleans festival calendar.
Pigs, pigs, pigs, they’re everywhere. Not alive though. They’re sausages, they’re bacon, they’re pulled pork, pork chops, in the ice cream, in the donuts, as crackling, offered as tacos, various off cuts served up in specially made drinks, on rice, as trotters, ribs, shoulder and even as pork belly kebabs.
Any way that you could imagine consuming a pig – you’ll find it at Hogs for the Cause. Each of the 95 food stands compete for their category title while music plays on the two stages, festivalgoers drink the local brews and relax in the Louisiana sunshine.
Unfortunately, the day before my arrival New Orleans had flooded, and City Park was pretty badly hit. They’d actually had to call the Friday night off. But volunteers worked through the night to pump water out of the field (how on earth…?) and at 10am on Saturday they just advised everyone to bring wellies, and a good attitude, and it’d all be fine.
I had no wellies.
RIP my furry Adidas trainers, we had some good times together and they were pure comfort for the 20k daily steps of SXSW. The ground here was even muddier than Glastonbury and my beloved ‘sneakers’ as they call them here, lasted about 30 seconds. I couldn’t even get to the back part of the festival for fear of falling over with my camera in hand. There were so many stalls though I didn’t even have stomach space to make the effort of getting back there worthwhile anyway.
I saw guys get stuck, kids fall over and cover their parents in the mud trying to get up, and I saw one unfortunate girl who was channeling the cream lace look fall right on her arse in front of about 30 people all hiding their laughter behind their pulled pork potato flour rolls.
I eventually gave up exploring and found a chair someone had left in prime position right in front of the main stage. Kept it warm for them as I drank my New Orleans Brewery Beer, at least that’s what I told them when I came back 30 minutes later. They loved me.
My Hogs for the Cause menu
You had to buy tokens for the festival, as money, and for some reason she wouldn’t let me have three so I had to go for four, $5 each (so $20 / £14). Most things in the festival were $5 each.
Pulled pork on rice from Pork Bros
Pulled pork bap with chocolate and bacon sauce from HogJammin
New Orleans Brewery Beer
– Photo taken from my Snapchat!
Maple bacon ice cream from Puerco Rico, and a water
Hogs for the Cause
Hogs for the Cause is a great festival, for a brilliant cause. We should definitely have something like this in England. Maybe I’ll start it.
I lurrve me some piggy.
List of the winners from Hogs for the Cause 2016
- Ticket price: $30