Now in its 37th year, the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest is the granddaddy of whole hog barbecue cook-offs. It’s the largest whole hog pig cooking contest in the nation, routinely drawing more than 80 – and sometimes as many as 110 – cook teams. It will also kick off the 2015 Whole Hog Barbecue Series on March 27-28, 2015.
Jim Bristle, President of the Newport Pig Cookin’ Board since 2004, said that what makes it so special is that it’s one of the hardest contests to win. He said that the popularity of the contest, which attracts cooks from up and down the East Coast and spectators from as far away as Canada, have made it even more difficult to win in recent years.
Bristle would know—before becoming president of the event, he competed in the contest approximately 15 times. Despite being a highly-respected whole hog cook in North Carolina and winning several other contests, Bristle never managed to take home the top prize in Newport.
The Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest is also one of the oldest in the nation. The first contest was hosted by Newport Mayor Derryl Garner in 1979, when 42 whole hog cook teams competed, and raised $15,000 for the Newport Developmental Center, a school for physically and mentally challenged children.
A new tradition was born, and each year, the contest would grow in size, and in generosity to the community. Every year, Newport takes the proceeds from the event and awards grants to a number of local nonprofit organizations including sports teams, school booster groups, churches, Meals on Wheels, and scout groups.
To date, the Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest has given $826,838 to local charities, and it’s become an important annual event for the entire region.
Interested in attending the 2015 Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest and seeing who take the title? You can get all the details you’ll need at NewportPigCooking.com.
Bristle promises that this two-day event will be bigger and better than ever, with new food options, top-notch musical acts, carnival rides, local vendors, free admission and parking, and of course, some of the finest barbecue you’ll ever taste.