Race an oinker, take in music at Independence Heritage Fest

Heritage Fest is returning to Pioneer Creek Park in Independence with something that no one else in this area has got — pig races for which anyone can sponsor a pig and compete against a friend, relative or coworker.

Oinker events and much more will be happening Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14, at the park, located west of County Road 90 north of Highway 12. Oinker races will be at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday so that the little guys won’t be around for the pig roast scheduled for Friday. Call Independence City Hall, 763-479-0527, to sponsor a pig in the “First Famous L.A. Pig Racing Show.” Sponsors of pigs can dress them up with identifying costumes, such as bandanas and shirts.

Independence needs lots of volunteers to engineer the event and make it enjoyable to visitors. Call City Hall to volunteer.

Festivities will begin at 3 p.m. Friday with the first games in the volleyball, Frisbee disc golf and horseshoe tournaments. Competition will continue with tournament playoffs at 10 a.m. Saturday. Teams are starting to form. Call Independence City Hall to sign up a team at a cost of $10 per team. People of all skill levels are encouraged to play.

Food vendors and a beer garden will be available from 3 to 11 p.m., Friday.

Headliner event for Friday will be a dance in the park, with music by the Shane Martin Band from 8 to 11 p.m. Martin is a Nashville recording artist based in Independence. For over 15 years he has done professional performances of modern country/rock music. He recently released his fourth CD, “Light It Up.”

Both Friday and Saturday, families can check out new playground equipment.

Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can stop at arts and crafts booths, food and games vendors, local safety department exhibits, a car and tractor show, face painting, pony rides and rock climbing wall. A raffle will offer prizes.

From 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, a performance stage will feature car seat demonstrations, a straw bale gardening demonstration and live music. Tournament play-offs for volleyball, Frisbee disc golf and horseshoes will start at 10 a.m. Pig races will jump off at 1 and 3 p.m. The performance stage will feature live music and a straw bale gardening demonstration from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

A parade and flag ceremony is planned for noon Saturday. A new flagpole will be dedicated. The flagpole is an Eagle Scout project of Michael Hurst of Delano Boy Scout Troop 273.

City Administrator Toni Hirsch is especially excited about the pig races. She said, “I can guarantee you a fun, laughing, couldn’t believe you actually did that sort of activity and lived to talk/brag about it.”

The winner of the pig races will take home a traveling trophy.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]