53.5 F

Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Pigs galore at the Davis Farmers Market

On Saturday, the Davis Farmers Market hosted its 21st annual Pig Day in Central Park. In accordance with the event, pig decorations were strewn throughout the park.
People of all ages attended the celebration. Besides the Farmers Market, there were various food vendors, live music and pig-related activities available.
Vendors present at the event were Sutter Davis Hospital’s Live Cooking Station, Upper Crust Bakery, Caffé Italia, Davis Creamery, Hotdogger, Fat Face and the Yolo County Food Bank.
Food varied from pork to non-pork products, as provided by the Farmers Market, as well.
“One of the signature elements of the event which Upper Crust Bakery came up with is the Pig Pop,” said Market Manager Randii MacNear. “Bread is in the shape of a pig on a stick.”
As attendees milled around, The Peter Franklin Band and Regal Beezers added their upbeat Americana music to the mix.
Kids could participate in activities sponsored by the Davis Parent Pre-School, Davis Community Church Nursery School and University Covenant Nursery School, such as creating their own pig faces, or sets of pig ears, a tail and a nose. They could also interact with people dressed as three pigs, a wolf and a rendition of Miss Piggy.
There were separate booths to create clay piggy banks, obtain pigtails and receive face painting. In addition, piglet-petting and pony rides were offered to children. The local 4H youth clubs were also at hand with animals and education material about farm animals.

“This was a concept that grew into an event because of one of my bakers from Upper Crust Bakery,” MacNear said. “She was listening to [National Public Radio] and the person announced that March 1 was National Pig Day, and for some reason, a light bulb went on in her.”

MacNear said it was a whimsical combination of agriculture and being able to “pig” out on the food at the Farmers Market.
“We came up with this totally random, wacky idea to create this event called Pig Day that combines bringing the farm to the market,” MacNear said.
Davis residents were in agreement when it came to the enjoyment of Pig Day.
“I love Pig Day and I plan on coming again next year,” said local resident Erin Conboy. “It’s a nice activity and my daughter was able to pet pigs. It’s a great family fun day.”
Another resident came only for the Farmers Market and was surprised to see pig paraphernalia.
“I didn’t really know what Pig Day was, but it’s a nice gathering,” said local resident Julie Roggli. “It’s great to see a sunny day and wonderful to see all the kids.”
According to MacNear, Pig Day is a popular event the Davis Farmers’ Market puts on.
“It’s one of those days where we try to invite some community people to participate,” MacNear said. “The pigs are brought in by Jim Neilson who raises pigs in Woodland.”
UC Davis students were also present at the pig celebration.
“As an animal science major, Pig Day is important to the culture of Davis,” said sophomore animal science major Arisa Hammond. “I look forward to a Cow Week or Poultry Afternoon.”
By closing time, the event was still in full swing.
“Usually, we have 5,000 to 7,000 people on Pig Day,” MacNear said. “Basically, we’re having fun and letting little kids see what little pigs look like, while big people eat bacon and ribs.”

CLAIRE TAN can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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