A greasy waterslide. A murky mud pit. Mouth-watering food. And, tons of games and other fun. Ask any Bluefield College student what all of these things have in common, and they won’t hesitate to tell you about one of BC’s most beloved traditions — Mud Pig Day.
For the 33rd year in a row, Bluefield College students will take time out from classes and books to celebrate the culmination of another academic year, Thursday, April 28, with the time-honored activities of Mud Pig Day.
The 2011 version of the tradition, open to the community, will begin at 10 a.m. with the opening of the ever-popular mud pit — a man-made pool of cold water and murky mud just outside the Dome Gymnasium — and Mud Pig Day waterslide — a long plastic tarp on BC’s high hill beside the Dome doused with water and cooking oil.
“It’s just a great day to get away from classes and get outside and get messy and dirty,” said senior Nathan Cronk of Floyd, Virginia. “I enjoy being with my friends, and I really love the slide with water and oil on it, slipping and sliding all the way down. That’s probably my favorite part.”
Inflatable games — from Sumo wrestling to volleyball to obstacle course relays — will begin at 11 a.m. Inflatable games, followed by lunch outside on the campus lawn at noon, featureing the time-honored roasted pig and other barbecue picnic favorites.
Afternoon Mud Pig Day activities, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will include relay races up the water slide, Slip-n-Slide Kickball, Capture the Flag with water balloons, and Tug-of-War over the mud pit.
“It was my most favorite day of the whole school year,” said 2008 alumna Marie Chappelear. “It was a nice break from classes and a great time to spend with everybody before we left to go home for the summer.”
Following dinner at 5 p.m., students and guests are invited to a concert at 6 p.m., followed by a culminating bonfire outside the Dome on the campus lawn. Commemorative Mud Pig Day t-shirts will be available throughout the entire day.
Mud Pig Day began on the campus of Bluefield College in the spring of 1979 when prior to the start of final exams BC students took a day off from classes, away from books, tests and studying to commemorate the end of another semester of achievement.
Some say the tradition began with a simple water balloon fight that developed into a full-scale, campus-wide water battle. Others recall how the event emerged out of a desire to increase school spirit and was named after a Lady Rams softball player who looked like every game she played was in the mud. Still others recall how the early years of Mud Pig Day included the actual chasing of a small pig, the crowning of a Mud Pig Day King, and the development of a formal day of games, competition, food, music, recreation, and fun under the guidance of Dr. Charles Tyer, president of the college from 1972 to 1988.
“I was there for the first Mud Pig Day,” said 1981 alumna Anna Bradberry Jones about the beginning of the tradition in 1979. “It was so much fun, and what a mess it made. I remember all the girls outside the dorm trying to clean up with the water hose and tracking the water and mud all the way to our rooms. Those were such great memories.”
Local residents are invited to stop by and join the Bluefield College family for Mud Pig Day 2011. There will be no charge for the fun, except for meals and t-shirts. For more information, visit contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4212.