Now in its seventh year, Hogs For The Cause is back this Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 in the City Park Festival Grounds with an incredible line up of music, beverage, and barbecue from 95+ teams across America. All of the festivities benefit the families of kids with pediatric brain cancer. It's a good cause, folks.
Hogs founders Rene Louapre and Becker Hall recently talked to Eater about what's new this year. Here's what to expect.
The New Stuff
95 teams from Colorado to Florida cue up this year, meaning more food options than ever before. "The new teams know they have to make an impression early on," Hall says. Rumor has it one team will be serving up a Pork Double Down sandwich, based on the KFC Double Down, including housemade bacon, smoked chili mayo, American cheese and two fried pork loin buns.
2 new categories enter the barbecue competition—the Blue Plate Mayonnaise "side" and Martin's Famous Potato Rolls & Breads "perfect bite"— so do expect some great new additions this year and lots of slider-size sandwiches. There will be a mayo cupcake, people.
Forget the jello shot of yore, this year it's all about the Red Hott, a drink comprised of NOLA Brewing beer with a shot Fire Ball in it, for purchase in the beer area. There will also be a new Gin & Tonic bar.
Friday night will now have more food options, with half the teams confirmed to serve up some great eats. Special guest chef Chris Shepherd from Underbelly in Houston will also be serving his take on barbecue on Friday night, including a bo ssam dish and a thai boudin ball.
Expect the team tents and parties to be as elaborate, if not more so, than last year. Confirmed tent parties including DJ Windows 98 (yes, that's Win Butler of Arcade Fire) at Deuce Pigalow, Soul Rebels at Puerco Rico, DJ Jubilee and PNC at the Pig Lebowski, Will Vance & The Kinfolk & Bantam Foxes at Drunken Pigs, Paris Avenue at Mr. Pigglesworth, Trimble Green and The Wifeswappers at Fleur De Que Upper Deck Noodle Zone.
Thursday night, The Link Group cooks up a sold-out Godfather themed gala dinner, including an elaborate wedding cake. But if you didn't land tickets, you can also bid on auction items from the comfort of your own home.
The News Stuff
The Times-Pic's tips for navigating Hogs include buying a Passpork (which includes 2 days admission + $45 in hoggy dollars for $80), making a home base, and using social media to figure out what you want to eat.
The Advocate's Ian McNulty reports on how local teams are finding a way to raise money all year long, including auctioning off hunting trips, hosting cochon de lait parties and more. Last year
Gambit offers a preview and a reminder of just how much money the event raises: $545,000 in 2015 and $310,000 in 2014.
WDSU reports thatHogs For The Cause delivered a $75,000 check to Children's Hospital on Monday, March 28.
Single-day general admission tickets are $25/day or $40 for 2-day tickets.
Boss Hog tickets are $200 with admission, re-entry, access to Boss Hog tent with open bar, private bathrooms, and private NOLA Brewing Stage viewing area.
The PassPork includes 2-day pass and $45 in hoggy dollars, plus entrance through the fast PassPork gate, but this will likely sell out today.
Food is sold via hoggy dollars, which you purchase at Hoggy Dollar Booths around the festival grounds.
Gates: Open Friday at 3 p.m. Saturday at 11 a.m. Closing both evenings at 10 p.m.
Music lineup includes Shovels & Rope, Deer Tick, Big Sam's Funky Nation and more great bands. Schedule here.
More FAQs right here.
Forecast is calling for MUD. Wear boots.
Rene's advice to newcomers: "Come Friday. Go walk around. If you don't do your preparetion, on Saturday, you'll be new. You'll be starving. Make a plan."
Becker's advice for finding the best dishes: "People start talking. I'd say social media is pretty good— what are people talking about? What are teams bragging about?"
Further Coverage: Times-Pic