Heavy rains caused organizers to cancel Hogs for the Cause's Friday events, but festivalgoers flocked to muddy New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds Saturday for the barbecue and pig roast extravaganza.
The festival is a fundraiser for families with children battling pediatric brain cancer. There were 95 teams competing in categories including best ribs, whole hog, shoulder, best sauce and others. The festival has grown since its inception eight years ago, and this year its two music stages hosted Deer Tick, Tab Benoit, Greensky Bluegrass, Kristin Diable and others.
"It was without question the most humbling moment in my life to see every single one of our teams out there, knee-deep in water, just for the kids, for their love of Hogs for the Cause," said Hogs for the Cause co-founder Becker Hall.
Organizers announced 2016 winners and top fundraising teams at the April 2 event. The High on the Hog Grand Champion was Aporkalypse Now, which also won the title in 2015. Aporkalypse Now claimed victories in the categories of Best Pork Shoulder/Butt and Best Ribs.
Q Smokery won Best Whole Hog. Hog Dat Nation won Best Sauce. Hogjammin' won Porkpourri for creative use of pork in a dish with its Elvis pie, featuing peanut butter and bacon. Swine Spectators won Best Side, and Mr. Pigglesworth won Fan Favorite.
Other awards included Best Friday Night Party, which went to Deuce Pigalow, Pork Gigolo. Fleur de Que also won Best Booth for its massive structure, including a second-story tented deck overlooking the festival grounds, complete with a rotating pig snorting fog through its snout.
Fleur de Que also won top fundraiser, collecting more than $150,000. Other big fundraisers included Fox Brothers BBQ of Atlanta, which hauled in more than $75,000. Boar's Nest BBQ, Puerco Rico and Deuce Pigelo all netted more than $50,000. Other major fundraisers were Mr. Pigglesworth, Piggy Stardust, 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, Team March of the Pigs, Captain Porkenheimer, The Death Chefs, Hog Dat Nation, Sweet Swine o Mine, Frey Smoked Meats, Squeal of Fortune, Swine and Dine, Chits & Piggles, Magnum PIG and Pigs on Parade.