The call came in early Friday morning, Aug. 20
a scratchy voice crackling over the police scanner: Calling
all cars. Be on the lookout for a pink, plaid runaway concrete pig. Could
be traveling very slowly eastbound on Third Street. Destination
There was no terror in the dispatchers voice. In fact, a few giggles
could be heard in the background. But this was no laughing matter. A blue
ribbon in the third annual Madison Ribberfest Pigmania concrete
pig decorating contest was at stake, not to mention a monetary contribution
to the festivals scholarship fund.
Yes, the missing pig was no poke... er, I mean joke. The stolen swine
had been rented last year to Scott Lynch Realty for $100 and then painted
pinkish plaid by Aimee Stovall of the Madison Area Convention and Visitors
Bureau in an apparent attempt at art.
by Don Ward
missing Scott Lynch Realty pig
at last years fest.
Back in July the rented pigs were displayed at 35 businesses around town
to help promote the upcoming Madison Ribberfest.
This Pigmania, as it is known, is chaired by Kevin Watkins,
who on this fateful day had stopped by Scott Lynch Realty to pick up his
pig. Watkins planned to haul them all down to the riverfront for viewing
during the two-day event. But when Watkins pork wagon
arrived, the Lynch pig was missing.
This piggish predicament sent Watkins inside to inquire about the missing
plaid pig. But the Scott Lynch Realty staff was caught by surprise, thinking
their pig was still standing outside.
by Don Ward
Binzers first place
Fire in the Hog pig brought a whopping
$605 at the silent auction.
They went outside only to find some skid marks and a few chips of plaid
paint on the sidewalk.
And no pig.
I was a little ticked off, Watkins said. Its beyond
me why somebody would do that.
Perhaps an even more plexing question is how they would do it. These 300-pound
pigs require three large men at the very least to move one very
far, unless they have a dolly, Watkins said.
You would have to be pretty ambitious to move that thing,
Pat Lynch added.
Lynch said he at first suspected that Pigmania pig-painting rival Chip
Binzer of Binzers Custom Framing might have had something to do
with the theft as a way of ensuring his second blue ribbon in as many
years. But Binzer, despite later claiming the first-place prize yet again
this year, vowed his innocence. Nevertheless, he was reportedly heard
muttering over a recent framing job, We dont need no stinking
plaid pigs around here.
Watkins called the Madison Police Department to report the pig-napping
in hopes it could be recovered before the weekend was over. A police officer
soon arrived on the scene and, while doing his best to contain his laughter,
filled out the report.
With no Scott Lynch Realty pig in the contest, the Pigmania contest went
on as scheduled with 34 pigs displayed on the riverfront. Binzers
Fire in the Hog swine earned the prized first place ribbon
in the Peoples Choice Award from six randomly selected judges, all
from out of town. At a Saturday afternoon silent auction of 10 pigs, four
were purchased by out-of-town guests. Binzers pig was bought by
a Muncie, Ind., couple for $605, far more than any other pig sold.
It was kinda cool, Binzer said later. It was like having
the winning bid at the county fair, and Ive never even been in 4-H.
By comparison, Barnyard Stormer, a pig with built-in airplane
wings and made by Watkins Hilltop Animal Clinic staff, sold for
$185. Binzer had won the previous year with Pig in Heat.
by Don Ward
Barnyard Stormer pig sold for $185.
Wilbur, a pig from Charlottes Web entered
by the tourism office and made by Stovall, earned second place in the
judges voting. Third place went to the Paddle Pig, which
was dressed up to look like a steamboat and entered by The Wharf restaurant.
In all, this years Pigmania earned more than $4,300 in combined
pig adoption fees, voting and the silent auction, Watkins said. Most of
the money is to be used for agricultural-related scholarships to a 2005
graduating high school senior.
Each year, the businesses either adopt a pig for $100 or buy their pig
for $200 and pay $25 per year to enter the contest. Watkins said the popularity
of the event may lead to an increased field next year by expanding to
50 pigs. Those businesses whose pigs were auctioned will receive a free
As for Scott Lynch Realty, I dont know yet what well
do about that one, Watkins said.
By now, that pink, plaid pig could be halfway to Hog Heaven.
Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout.
Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: Don@RoundAboutMadison.com.