Hogs for the Cause draws record breaking crowds despite rain and mud

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 4:02 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 30 at 4:20 AM

Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS - The thunderstorms took a toll on the teams competing in this year's Hogs for the Cause, but the muddy conditions did not keep folks away.

A record number of people came out to enjoy the food, and to help children battling cancer.

Torrential downpours turned this year's Hogs for the Cause at City Park into a muddy pig sty.

"The rain was really bad, the mud was really bad but we are all still out here having a really good time," said Emile Louapre who competed for a fifth year on team Pork Kings.

This morning when the rain finally let up, crews had their work cut out for them.

"We brought in sump pumps, we brought in hay," said Hogs for the Cause co-founder Renee Louapre. "We enlarged some drainage ditches, we unclogged some drainage lines and luckily there is a water reservoir that it all flowed into."

When the sun came out, So did the crowds. Nearly 20,000 people trudged through the muddy fields to enjoy the live music and the smoke pork and ribs.

"We cooked a 125 pound landshire pig, we cook 17 racks of ribs, two pork shoulders and an abundance of other things," said Emile Louapre. 

"Considering out bad the weather was the last couple of days the crowd was incredible, the volume was really incredible," said Team Blue Oak member Ronnie Evans.

This year's teams cooked over four tons of pork Saturday and despite the weather, the huge crowds had teams sold out by mid-afternoon.

"We sold out of food so quick today because there were so many people, it was a great turnout, it was really wild," said Team Blue Oak member James Bonck. 

Last year some 76 teams battled it out on the grill, but this year that number rose to 90 and event organizers hope the turnout means they will reach their $1 million fundraiser goal.

"We always want to try and get better and better and i think this year was a step up for us," said Renee Louapre. 

Charqueterie is this year's "High on the Hog" grand champion.

This year the festival added the beans category, which was won by team Fleur de que. They're also taking home the top fundraiser trophy for raising more than $63,000 for Hogs for the Cause.

 

 

 

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