Smelling Like A Rose

Pigtown is feeling like a boomtown and will strut its stuff Saturday

September 07, 2006|By Sam Sessa | Sam Sessa,Sun Reporter

This Saturday, Pigtown's proud, snouty namesakes will take to the street.

More than a dozen oinkers will plod down Washington Boulevard twice that day, as part of the annual Pigtown Festival. It's a chance for the neighborhood to revel in its past - when pigs were driven down the roads to the slaughterhouses - and exhibit its growing development.

This year, the festival outgrew its former venue on McHenry Street, and organizers moved it to the 700-900 blocks of Washington Blvd.

"We felt that it would be appropriate that we move the festival to kind of the natural point of convergence for Pigtown, which is Washington Boulevard, which is the neighborhood's main street," said Jack Danna, the director of Pigtown Main Street, the organization that presents the festival.

Washington Boulevard is also the site of budding commercial revitalization. The Yabba Pot, a year-old vegetarian and vegan cafe, and Evelyn's, a new coffeehouse, are both on this neck of the street, and more restaurants and businesses are planned for the near future.

"There's a lot of excitement going on," Danna said. "It really is the perfect time to move it to show some of those pioneering but very significant projects."

The festival starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. Saturday. Three bands, Victoria Vox, the Big Hurt and Jayakar, will play.

Blue Sky Puppet Theatre will perform Three Not So Little Piggies at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. There will also be dancing, face painting, and arts and crafts.

A barbecue cook-off among five contestants starts at noon and ends at 2:15 p.m. Danna encouraged dog owners to dress up their pets in pink- or pig-themed costumes and enter them in the Pigtown Pooch Pageant, which starts at 1:30 p.m.

Danna himself is entered in the human version of the Pigtown Pageant at 2:15 p.m., when he will perform Three Little Piggies to the "Electric Slide." Two musicians will play Pigtown-themed songs they've written, and a belly-dancer will perform as part of the pageant.

At 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., 15 pigs will make their way down a few blocks of Washington Boulevard as part of the annual Running of the Pigs.

"Some run, some walk, some sleep and then finally get up and get to the other end," Danna said.

Danna expects about 6,000 people to attend the festival - a steadily growing number compared with years past.

"The festival is very indicative of the wonderful history and the wonderful diversity of this neighborhood," Danna said.

The Pigtown Festival is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in the 700-900 blocks of Washington Blvd. Admission is free. For more information, 410-385-8494 ext. 103 or visit

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