With only a month left until the 30th edition of Elgin’s annual Hogeye Festival, Thursdays are about to get painted pink as “Think Pink Thursdays” makes a return to the city.
Hogs, sows and piglets are encouraged to wear pink or a vintage Hogeye Festival shirt on Thursdays, starting in October, to raise awareness of the annual festival, slated for Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’ve been doing it for quite a while. I think it really triggered from somebody saying ‘Hogeye: it’s not just a festival, it’s a season’,” explained Amy Miller, community development director.
“So it’s this idea that there’s all this buildup and anticipation going into the event. From a volunteer standpoint, this is our crunch time. Everybody’s putting in a lot of extra volunteer work to be able to have the big day, so it’s on everybody’s mind from that perspective, but it also feels like a really fun way to promote the event and invite everybody to come by part of the fun.
“At the end of the day, Hogeye is all about having a good time,” Miller added.
If you get caught not wearing pink on a Thursday, you could get Oinked!
“We get a little more serious about that in October. We know you have to be pretty enthusiastic to be all about pink already in September,” Miller said with a laugh.
“We have some of our volunteers armed with stickers that say, ‘You’ve been Oinked!’ and it’s just a very fun, tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. It is not intended to be particularly serious, but again, it’s a great way to advertise and promote.”
In addition, there are prizes if you post your photos of your pink Hogeye spirit on social media, using the hashtags hogeyefestival, elgintx, and thinkpinkthursdaysetx, Miller said.
If pink isn’t exactly your color, Miller said to dig out your old Hogeye shirts from previous years instead.
“The one thing about Hogeye shirts is people really do keep them and wear them. We’ve been really lucky over the years, we’ve worked with really talented graphic design people and they make great stuff that people really fall in love with,” Miller said.
If you can’t find your pink shirts or Hogeye gear, don’t worry. Hogeye merchandise is currently available at Dorothy’s Jewelry, located on Depot Street, and includes women’s shirts and tank tops, men’s hunting shirts and sweatshirts.
Souvenir shirts with all the sponsors listed on the back will be available at the end of the month, Miller said.
While the bulk of the planning for the event is mostly done at this point, the finishing details are still being wrapped up.
“I call it the pew bows,” Miller said.
“We’re pretty much down to the pew bows. If it were a wedding, pew bows can be pretty important. Others may not realize they aren’t where they are supposed to be, but there’s a fine touch on all the little details.”
For more information about the Hogeye Festival, visit www.elgintx.com/191/Hogeye-Festival.