Fiberglass pigs return downtown for final time

Kenny Morris left, and Jacob Culbertson of the City of Owensboro put “Hampton,” sponsored by the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown/Riverfront, in place as he wears his mask on Thursday in front of the Owensboro Convention Center.

“Oink for Owensboro” is about to put its pigs out to pasture.

But they’ll be on exhibit downtown for one last time — until October.

Brooklyn Maple, brand manager for Kentucky Legend and other Specialty Foods Group brands, came up with the idea in 2017 to raise money for local nonprofits.

“Getting this project up and running was so much fun,” she said in a news release Thursday. “And we’re super thankful to all the groups that joined in, naming and designing their pigs, and helping us hit our goal of raising $100,000.”

But Maple said, “Even though this project is obviously near and dear to our hearts, we’ve decided to move on in order to free ourselves up to consider new ways that Kentucky Legend can support our Owensboro community going forward. At Kentucky Legend, we’re always brainstorming about that.”

On Thursday, the fiberglass pigs were delivered to the lawn of the Owensboro Convention Center, where they will remain until Tuesday.

After that, they will go to various locations around town until October.

After that, donors will decide what to do with their pigs.

In 2018, 12 local companies and individuals pledged $5,000 each to their favorite nonprofits.

In return, the nonprofits designed and created fiberglass pig sculptures, most of which were installed downtown for the next six months.

Last year, there were eight pigs.

This year, all 20 pigs will be on display.

The painted fiberglass pigs were widely photographed by both Owensboroans and visitors in past years and shared on social media.

Tim Ross, the city’s public events director, said, “The sculptures are really incredible works of art to have on display downtown and remind us of the great partnership with Kentucky Legend and the sponsors helping raise so much for local charities.”

Maple said she came up with the idea after seeing the success of similar projects, like the painted horses of Lexington’s Horse Mania project.

She said pigs were chosen to represent “Owensboro’s rich history of agriculture, meat production and barbecue.”

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301

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