EATON — The 48th annual Preble County Pork Festival was held this past weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16. The festival brings people from all over to shop local vendors and consume pork products.
The festival kicked off on Saturday, with the annual parade. Mike Loy’s Collision won Best Pork Industry-Related Theme Entry, Country Mile won Best Commercial Entry, YMCA won Most Colorful Entry, Your Happy Place won Best Preble County Organization Entry, and Majestic Nursery and Gardens won Judge’s Choice
This is the second year the festival went without its traditional smorgasbord meal option, but there was plenty of pork to be eaten. The featured food venue was the Chop Stop, which included a meal that can be enjoyed at the festival or home. This meal included one pork chop, potato wedges, applesauce, pie, and a drink. There was also the Chop Stop, Pop-N-Chop, Short Order, and Pancake and Sausage Breakfast. Uncooked meat could also be purchased at the festival to prepare at home.
Instead of a petting zoo, this year’s festival featured Kid Zone activities including Zorb — an obstacle course and quad jump. Of course, the famous racing pigs were also performing throughout the weekend.
For Pork Queen Macel Stowers, the Pork Festival is more than just a home to fun and food, but is also a way to support small businesses and vendors.
“I was the Pork Queen last year, so it is kind of the same overwhelming feeling, it is also my senior year, so it is sad to realize that I only have one more year left and then I have to come here as just a visitor, instead of someone involved in the festival,” she said.
“I really like when the little girls come up to me and are excited to see a princess. They hug me and get a picture and they are happy for the rest of the day. My favorite thing about the pork festival is seeing all the people go through and support other people, not just from Preble County, but all over. There are people from California to Alabama who come to the Pork Festival to be vendors and visitors. The food is also awesome, I definitely recommend.
“I think the Pork Festival is worth coming to, because it has such a wide range of things. There are handmade things, which people put a lot of time and effort into and it is their living. Spending money on that is helping them and their company grow. So I feel when you come up here, you’re not just coming for fun and great food, but you’re supporting other people.”
With the parade well attended and the weather cooperating, it was another successful Preble County Pork Festival, according to organizers.
“The pork festival board of directors work all year preparing for the two day event, but we couldn’t have an event without volunteers from the community. We’ve been supporting the pork industry for 48 years and want to continue to educate and promote agriculture. The proceeds from this event help support other community events. We annually give $11,000 in scholarships,” Becky Henning said.
“We want to say thank you to everyone that donated their time, services, or financial support. A special thank you to our corporate sponsor Rumpke Waste and Recycling. We had good weather, great entertainment, and a successful festival.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH