The Big Pig Gig: A Pig-torial


Cincinnati’s Connection to Pigs

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.

The Big Pig Gig Statues

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?


This pig is quartered into butcher sections that say “Welcome” in different languages.


This pig is covered with stamps from each of the countries that participated in the 2012 World Choir Games.


This is my favorite. They cleverly turned this pig into a piggy bank by adding pennies.


19 responses to “The Big Pig Gig: A Pig-torial

  1. I know I often comment on your titles, but I just had to once more…. I mean, “a pig-torial”…. that is so funny! You are so good at coming up with them!

    I love all the photos of the pig sculptures (the last one is my favorite).

  2. “Porkopolis” I love it!! Lol my sister and I actually call each other “Porkus” for no apparent reason! As I was reading your pig-torial post, I thought of nothing but a big, juicy slab of bacon!!!

  3. Pingback: R.E.M. is on Deck, Ready to Play | Browsing The Atlas·

  4. Pingback: The Pink Blur of Pigs Racing By | Browsing The Atlas·

  5. Pingback: Buffalo on Every Corner | Browsing The Atlas·

  6. Pingback: Meninas in Madrid | Browsing The Atlas·

  7. Pingback: The Big Oyster | Browsing The Atlas·

  8. Pingback: 4 Funky Art Installments Around Ann Arbor | Browsing The Atlas·

We'd All Love To Hear Your Thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.