My first night in Montana was one that I was looking forward to most because I heard I would be going to see pig races. While I grew up in a small town and I believe there was a 4H club there I have never been to a pig race or seen a pig run.
To hear this was an established event in Montana was just as exotic as going to another country. I had so many questions like, how did they decide to race pigs? what makes them run? what happens to the loser?
Don’t worry, this is not the porky Hunger Games
It turns out this is for a scholarship fund for the kids who raise these pigs. Youth learn how to raise the animals and each one of the kids is awarded a scholarship for college.
It’s actually ingenious as there isn’t much going on in the town and you can buy drinks as you watch the pigs run laps. So even though it’s a bit of a tourist event, the restaurant and bar are also filled with locals.
Pigs run surprisingly fast.
It’s kind of like watching dogs. When we first get there they seem so lazy and I cannot imagine they will ever actually run but once they get them lined up they run so quickly that at times all four feet are off the ground.
The best part of it all are the names of the pigs: Justa Weiner, Raquel Belch, Arnold Schwartnhogar, Porkahonus, Barbie Q and much more.
Seriously how could you not love this?
I didn’t win any money, it turns out I have no idea which pig would win the amazing race. But I felt okay knowing my twenty bucks was going to a good cause. After the races we went for dinner at the restaurant adjacent to the ring, they thoughtfully do not serve pork.
Disclosure: I was a guest of the Montana Office of Tourism, they did not ask that I write a favourable review or cheer so loudly for Bruce Pigsteen.