Hog Wild

Pigmania showcases diversity
of the business community

Money raised from pork project
goes to a scholarship fund

(August 2018) – The creativity is flowing once again around Madison, Ind., for the annual “Pigmania” concrete pig decorating contest, part of the Madison Ribberfest, set for Aug. 17-18. Business owners who have adopted a pig have decorated it to their liking. Some businesses do play on words; others do something related to their business. Regardless, it’s always a great surprise to see the one-of-a-kind pigs and what the business owners come up with.

Photo by Sam Swartz

Madison Eye Care Group’s Kristen Adams (left) and Corinda Gaebel pose with their pig.

During the Ribberfest, people can vote on which pig they like best by putting tickets or money in tin cans, which will be near each pig. With more than 40 pigs, the funds raised all go to a scholarship for a high school graduate for college. The judges select a winner. And the results of the public “voting” results in the “People’s Choice Award.”
“When we started Pigmania many years ago, it was a scholarship going into agriculture,” said Ribberfest coordinator Kathy Ayers. “We now tell the students that we don’t care what field you’re going into, just tie it into Ribberfest. And they are very creative in their essays.”
Throughout the rest of the year, when Ribberfest isn’t going on, people and visitors will find the concrete pigs sitting all over Madison.
“The pigs are intended be used by the businesses out in front of their stores. So when people come to town, they say it benefits us and it benefits them. They go into the store and ask what’s that pig all about, and they can talk about Ribberfest. And they can vote on their pig in their store prior to the event.”

Photo by Sam Swartz

Tonya Schmidt of Mane Attractions says she doesn't like to reveal her pig design before the festival. She is a former winner in the contest.

Not everyone puts out his pig before Ribberfest, however, to have more of the element of surprise. The owners of Mane Attractions, a hair salon on Main Street, has been participating in Pigmania for 12 years and won “People’s Choice Award” last year. Owner Tonya Schmidt said she wants to surprise the public with her newest design.
“The name this year is Pork Chop, and it’s very creative,” she said. “We always do a play on words, and this year, a 9-year-old daughter to a client was talking to my husband (David), and she come up with the creativity and they talked and came up with it together.”
Creating the pig each year is always a challenge but still a fun time, she said.
“I’m in a creative craft already, so it made it kind of fun to just go outside the box a little bit. It’s a great cause. We are giving back to the community. It draws people in, and it’s a fun thing to do,” Schmidt said.
Other participates, such as Madison Eye Care Group on the Madison hilltop, are new to the contest this year.

Photo by Sam Swartz

“Miss Piggy and Friends” is Bear’s Furniture Gallery’s entry.

“We saw other pigs around town, so we wanted to participate and be a part of the community,” said employee Kristin Adams. “We are excited to see everyone else’s creativity with all the pigs this year.”
Madison Eye Care Group’s pig is called Ralphie Ribs, inspired by “A Christmas Story,” with the “you’ll shoot your eye out” as a part of the theme.
Another participant, Bear’s Furniture Gallery, which won the judged competition last year, has had a pig in Pigmania for five years. This year, the owners decided to stick with the same theme as last year, with “Miss Piggy and Friends.”
The pig design was created by Mark Bear’s wife, Debbie, and their daughter, Natalie. It was a freestyle design to show Miss Piggy with The Muppets characters Kermit the Frog and Animal.

You can view all 40 pigs during the Madison Ribberfest at the west end of the festival grounds.

Back to August 2018 Ribberfest Articles.



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