Which is the Swiftest Swine Off the Line
This year’s Bikes, Blues and BBQ will feature The Ham Bone Express Pig Races presented by Downstream Casino Resorts.
Dubbed “a redneck heaven,” this added attraction will be “more fun than you can possibly stand,” said Joe Giles, executive director of Bikes, Blues and BBQ.
The pig races will take place at the Washington County Fairgrounds Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Giles said. The pigs will race around an oval track for a distance of about 30 yards. Every show will consist of three to four races, and within each race, there will be four pigs running.
Ham Bone Express is an entertainment company that performs at fairs and casinos nationwide. Their shows have been incredibly successful and well-received, Giles said.
“We have the swiftest swine off the line,” said Charlie Boger, ringmaster for the pigs. Serving as both “swinemaster” and emcee, Boger has been racing pigs for the past 10 years. “This is a family show and the best part about my job is that we get to make people laugh,” Boger said.
With their 18 pigs, he and his wife travel all over the nation racing these porkers in search of “the next wiener,” Boger said.
Ham Bone Express builds their own track, provides an emcee and puts on an incredible show, Giles said.
Running the show, Boger’s job description covers a wide basis. Together, Boger and his wife raise their own pigs and train them to get ready for the race.
“Pigs are smart,” Boger said. Once the pigs understand where it is you want them to go, they can run that little track like nobody’s business,” Boger said.
“We race them, we chase them and we marinate them,” Boger said .
Once show time rolls around, Boger’s primary task is to get the fans’ blood flowing and pump energy through the crowd.
“I get them revved up,” Boger said. “I make them sound like a Razorback football game.”
The crowd is divided into four different cheering sections, Boger said. The swinemaster also designates a special cheerleader for each cheering section. These pigs compete not only for the uproar from the crowd, but also for the long-coveted Oreo cookie. At the end of every race, the winning pig is awarded an Oreo.
Starting the year off in Florida, followed by California and then Missouri, this year will be the first time he and his wife have ever performed in Fayetteville, Boger said.