Cincinnati, once known as “Porkopolis,” is a town that prides itself on its history with pigs. In 1818 the first slaughterhouse opened in Cincinnati, and soon the streets were swarming with pigs being led to the slaughterhouse. As salted pork became a staple of the Civil War, Cincinnati enjoyed a booming economy. Two Cincinnati brothers-in-law, Procter & Gamble, used pig fats to make their candles and soaps. Pork-processing plants such as Kahn’s sprung up. German immigrants brought goetta (sausage mixed with steel-cut oats) with them as they settled in Cincinnati. No matter where you turned, it was pigs, pigs, pigs.
Cincinnati continues to celebrate its relationship with swine. In May, runners from all over the country come to compete in the Flying Pig Marathon. Statues of flying pigs soar above Sawyer Point along the river. Les Nessman of WKRP in Cincinnati won the “Silver Sow” award for hog reporting.
I could go hog wild with facts like these, but I think you get my drift. Cincinnati loves its pigs. So when the 2012 World Choir Games came to town this summer, Artworks of Cincinnati pulled out its pork and re-vitalized the Big Pig Gig that was originally introduced in 2000.
Like the cows that roam the streets of Chicago, local Cincinnati businesses and artists sponsored the decoration and display of pig sculptures around the city. As a result, over 100 pigs were displayed for visitors from all around the world who came to “Porkopolis” this summer. Here I’ll share a sampling of the artistry and creativity displayed around town. In a few weeks, many of the pigs will find permanent homes at their sponsoring businesses, but many will remain downtown.
After you look them ever, admit it: doesn’t this make you want to come to Cincinnati and see them for yourself?