Sept. 14, 2010
Swinefest: "A Hillbilly Homecoming"

By Sandee Lloyd
Guyandotte celebrated Swinefest with the theme "A Hillbilly Homecoming" this past weekend in grand hillbilly style, with clotheslines full of clothes strung across the streets and wood plank signposts all around pointing to "hoedown" and other areas of interest.
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Everyone got into the hillbilly spirit, especially Rick "Boss Hogg" Simmons, one of the event's coordinators, who wore a lovely cotton print dress over rolled-up jeans and heavy boots. Rick is one of Guyandotte's biggest supporters and writes a column in the Herald-Dispatch about events and news of the area.
Vendors had booths lining the streets, selling food, jewelry, clothing, interesting sauces, and many other items. There was a political booth, and Little Victories animal rescue had a booth.
Hometown Hero Greg Goode was on hand with his intricate face paintings and balloon art. He made a fishing pole complete with a bluegill out of balloons for Sandy Combs, a volunteer with the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 9738, who was collecting money for the pulled pork dinner provided by the VFW.
Faith in Action of the River Cities was handing out candy bars attached to a flyer telling about their organization and all the good works they do.
Mary Stamm staffed the information table while creating beautiful squares to be turned into afghans or blankets, many of which were on display for sale.
Author Rosalie M. Ash was signing copies of her book "We Fought Back."
The Porter Creek Cloggers danced to traditional Country music. Director Sherrie Porter said they love to entertain and will be happy to attend any event to clog. They can be reached at 304-736-2498 or They expertly performed several numbers to an appreciative audience.
Judy Eaton of WTCR Radio emceed three contests, assisted by Rick Simmons. The first contest was a hog-calling contest, with two contestants, four-year-old Cody Lewis of Huntington, who won, and Loretta Anderson of Proctorville, OH.
A husband-calling contest had three contestants, Crickett Tabor, Barbara Evans of Huntington, and Tracey Cornwell, also of Huntington. The rules were they had to use 10 words, three of which had to be "Honey, supper's ready." The winner was Tracey, who did her calling without a mike. She had a tremendous voice and out-hollered the other contestants.
The final contest was a corn on the cob eating contest which had seven entrants, a mix of children and adults. While waiting for the corn to arrive, Rick and Judy asked trivia questions of the audience, with the winners receiving free pulled-pork dinners. The roasted corn in the husks was delivered on a cart by Kitty Kelly-Smoot, who described herself as Secretary-Treasurer, Main Chef, Cook and Bottle Washer for Swinefest.
The rules for the contest were that each participant had to shuck the corn, eat all of it off the cob, then place the empty cob somewhere on their person. They had ten minutes to eat as much as they could. Several of the contestants demolished multiple ears of corn and had cobs and husks sticking out of every possible opening in their clothing. One contestant resembled a scarecrow by the end and all of the contestants were covered in bits of corn. Kristy Perry and Vicky Wiley, both of Huntington, tied for first with 11 ears each. They had to participate in a tiebreaker where they had to eat an ear of corn without using their hands. They tied that too, so each was awarded a trophy. Rick announced that there would be corn available for sale at $1 an ear later in the day.
After the stage was cleaned, WTCR presented Guyandotte's own Gary Sellards and the Stoned Country Band. The side of their truck opens up as a stage, with the drummer playing from inside. The crowd enjoyed their rousing Country sounds.
Marble enthusiasts could participate in a tournament, with trophies for the winners.
On the boat dock was a car show, featuring mostly muscle cars. There were trophies for the winners there too.
Wrestlers were demonstrating how to move and fall to anyone willing to learn.
Rides and games were provided by Gambill Amusements. Most of the rides were geared towards children, but there was a swinging ride called the Star Ship and a spinning ride called Zero Gravity for adults. The children enjoyed a carousel, slide, gator and spinning rides, as well as a play house called Pirate's Den Playstation. Stuffed toys of all sizes and other prizes were offered in the various games. Josh Smith and Chris Thomas were two of the game operators, and they seemed to be having as much fun as the people playing. Gambill will have their rides and games next weekend in Barboursville.
A special 911 tribute was offered by the Huntington Fire Department Honor Guard with a "ringing of the bell" signifying the call is over, return to quarters. A 21-gun salute was presented by the Honor Guard from VFW Post #9738.
Kala Dehart and The River Town Band completed the evening's events.
Swinefest was a resounding success and I look forward to next years' edition, which will have a Hollywood theme.
Pictures feature Rick Simmons, Cody Lewis, Mary Stamm, the Porter Creek Cloggers, Loretta Anderson, Crickett Tabor, Barbara Evans, Tracey Cornwell, Judy Eaton and the corn-eating contestants, Kristy Perry, Vicky Wiley, Gary Sellards and the Stoned Country Band, Sandy Combs, Greg Goode, Josh Smith, Chris Thomas and scenes from Swinefest.
These pictures and more can be found at Information about Swinefest can be found on Facebook at Swinefest Solutions.

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