For the 34th 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 26, with the time-honored activities of Mud Pig Day.
“It’s a good time for everyone to come out and spend time together hanging with friends,” said Pip Pattison, a BC sophomore from Radford, Virginia. “It’s something I look forward to every year.”
The 2012 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.
“I enjoy it because it is a day off from class to relax and not worry about anything,” added Pattison. “It’s also fun to get out on the slide and not act your age, but just have fun.”
Carnival-like games, including a dunking booth and an inflatable bull ride, will begin at 11 a.m., followed by lunch outside on the campus lawn at noon, featuring the time-honored roasted pig and other barbecue picnic favorites.
“Mud Pig Day is an event that we look forward to as students every year,” said BC senior Trey Wilson of Portsmouth, Virginia. “It’s a great way for us to relax one last time before we plunge into final exams, and it’s a fun opportunity for us to interact with members of the local community and the recent alumni that always come back to campus. It’s the last social event of the year for most students before they head home for the summer or go their separate ways through graduation.”
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, human bowling, and tug-of-war over the mud pit. Commemorative Mud Pig Day t-shirts will be available throughout the entire day.
Following dinner, students and guests are invited to a concert at 7 p.m. in Harman Chapel, featuring the contemporary Christian music of The Afters, best known for their two number one radio hits from the CD “Light Up the Sky” that have gained national airplay on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and ABC’s “You Deserve It.” The band’s album “Never Going Back To OK” debuted in the Top 50 on the Billboard Top 200 and proved to be a sensation on the silver screen with “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Dr. Phil,” “Army Wives” (Lifetime) and “Rachael Ray.” Their debut CD, “I Wish We All Could Win,” featured the hit “Beautiful Love,” which earned an enthusiastic following as the theme track for MTV’s “8th and Ocean.” Tickets for The Afters concert may be purchased for $10 in advance on the BC web site or at the door the night of the concert.
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.
“It was just a great day to get away from classes and get outside and get messy and dirty,” said 2010 alumnus Nathan Cronk of Floyd, Virginia. “I enjoyed being with my friends, and I really loved the slide with water and oil on it, slipping and sliding all the way down. That was probably my favorite part.”
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 2012. There will be no charge for the fun, except for meals, t-shirts, and the concert. For more information, contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 276-326-4212.