Swine Time Festival always special

Published 9:02 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of covering the annual Swine Time Festival in Climax, an event I look forward to every year.

Swine Time, sponsored by the Climax Community Club, is an event that gets better and better each year; this year was no exception.

This was the 36th annual Swine Time Festival—I have been told that I am probably the only one who doesn’t live in Climax who has been to all 36.

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I commend Climax Mayor and Community Club president Charles Hadsock for doing such an outstanding job of putting all the Swine Time Festival events together.

He called this year’s Swine Time Festival one of the best ever and I cannot disagree with that.

I covered the contests—ranging from the best dressed pig contest, to the chitterling eating contest, to the hog calling and Hula Hoop contests—and enjoyed all of them.

My dear friend Billy Simmons Jr., who won the mens hog calling contest, and all of the other participants, including children, teens and adults, seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

I commend the Community Club for dedicating this year’s Swine Time Festival to 15 Climax-area deceased veterans of World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War.

I also commend Paul Fryer and Chip Ariail, organizers of the 29th annual 5,000-meter, 3.1-mile Swine Time Festival Run, and the Community Club, for designing run T-shirts with the names of two highly-respected Climax veterans on the sleeve.

Those two veterans were retired U.S. Army Colonel Doyce Ariail—Chip’s late father—and the late Clifford Wells, a U.S. Army World War II veteran who coached the Climax High School Lady Tigers basketball team.

Colonel Ariail and Mr. Clifford were two of my favorite people for many years. They and all deceased veterans are true heroes.

Having covered all 36 Swine Times, I can relate numerous comical stories that happened through the years. Let me relate a couple of those stories.

There was the year that the young man who won the Swine Time Run told me that he didn’t see a boar hog hiding behind the fence when he ran by the late Mr. Earl Hester’s hog farm.

“When that big hog let out a snort as I ran by the fence, it improved my time by 10 seconds,” he said.

Then there was the time that a big hog rode on the back of a flat bed truck in the Swine Time parade while eating Moon Pies and drinking soft drinks.

It seemed that the hog, which had been raised as a pet by a Thomasville family since it was little, was given Moon Pies and soft drinks as rewards for good behavior.

Mayor and Community Club president Hadsock and his predecessors through the years have made sure that the Swine Time Festival has been a special and enjoyable event.