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The Delta State University Alumni Association held the 27th annual Pig Pickin’ this past weekend at Statesmen Park. This year’s event was another success.
“I am pleased with the excellent turnout at this year’s Pig Pickin’,” said Delta State President Dr. John Hilpert. “It’s an event that many alumni, students, and community members look forward to every year, and I’m glad that the tradition has continued to grow and develop.”
Jeffrey Farris, director of Alumni Affairs, echoed Hilpert’s sentiments. “Good food, record attendance, and a competitive ballgame makes the perfect recipe for experiencing a Delta State University Pig Pickin’,” said Farris. “The development of student, alumni, and community support is the lifeblood of this signature event hosted by the Alumni Association.”
Over 1,400 people came through the serving lines and had a plate of their choice of pulled pork or BBQ chicken along with either Cajun or original sausage provided by Polk’s Meats.
The BBQ was prepared by a group of volunteers including Tom Janoush, Jay Burchfield, Jamie van Vulpen, Eddie Vaughn, David Griffin, Arnold Luciano, and many others. The event would not have been possible without the help of all the volunteers and event sponsors, including Polk’s Meat, who has sponsored the event for the past seven years.
“Although no one in our family attended Delta State, over the years we have definitely felt like honorary alumni,” said Julie Breazeale, of Polk’s Meat Products. “Unfortunately, I have never been able to attend a Pig Pickin’ celebration, but those that have raved about the positive emphasis DSU puts on student involvement. It’s always a pleasure to support an event that is geared towards past, present, and future Statesmen!”
Twenty-two cook teams participated in this year’s competition. The winners were: Best Design (t-shirt/apron) Delta Boy Smokers; Best Décor, Sho-Nuff Smokers; 3rd place Sausage Anyway, Bottom’s Up Smokers; 2nd place Sausage Anyway, Shotgun House Smokers; 1st place Sausage Anyway, Junk Yard Hogs; 3rd place chicken, Tag Team Smokers; 2nd place chicken, Big Daddy Woo Woo’s BBQ; 1st place chicken, Sooey’s; 3rd place pork, Delta Boy Smokers; 2nd place pork, Smokehouse Posse; 1st place pork, Rolling Bones; Grand Champion, Shotgun House Smokers.
Many other events were also taking place on campus in conjunction with Pig Pickin’ including DSU Day, hosted by the Office of Admissions. Over 250 prospective students and parents participated in DSU Day before heading over to Statesmen Park to enjoy the Pig Pickin’ festivities.
The Delta State Band, the “Pride of the Delta,” also hosted an event for prospective band members. Future students got the chance to perform with the band at the pep rally, in the stands during the game, and during the half-time show. Approximately 50 high school and community college band members participated with the Delta State Alumni Band.
“We were thrilled to have so many prospective students as well as DSU Band Alumni share their talents with us and contribute to the overall success of Pig Pickin’,” said Joe Moore, director of bands at Delta State. “Members of the Delta State ‘Pride of the Delta’ Marching Band served as great ambassadors and gave outstanding performances at both the Pep Rally and football game. We had a tremendously positive response and expect the event to grow even larger next year.”
The Alumni Association partnered with the Bologna Performing Arts Center to give attendees of Pig Pickin’ who purchased BBQ tickets a buy one get one free coupon to the October 6 showing of Capitol Steps at the BPAC.
The various Pig Pickin’ events led up to the showdown between the Delta State and North Alabama football teams. Although the Statesmen didn’t pull out a win, there was a terrific crowd at the game.
“All in all, Pig Pickin’ 2012 was a success,” said Jordan Thomas, assistant director of alumni affairs. “The day ended with the ‘Pride of the Delta’ Marching Band performing Delta State’s alma mater at the close of the football game. The football team remained on the field as fans stood and sang with pride. It was the perfect ending to a great weekend.”