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Nevis celebrates Independence weekend with a 'Day of Pigs'

Nevis kindergarten teacher and professional fishing guide Jason Durham was chosen by the crowd to kiss a pig's posterior. Worn out from a race, the pig was oblivious to its fame. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)1 / 2
Racing around the curve, the crowd cheered the piglets on to the finish line, where they found a treat waiting. An estimated 1,800 people arrived in Nevis to cheer on the pigs. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)2 / 2

It was off to the races Sunday in Nevis when, by mayoral proclamation, the pigs flew.

Not to be confused with swine flu, this was an event of great revelry and rivalry, the young piglets heading out with the bell to gain fame - or infamy - for their sponsors.

Franken, mimicking his human counterpart, won by a nose, validating the Supreme Court decision on the matter.

The 1,000 wristbands created for the event were soon gone, with a standing room only crowd cheering the porkies.

"This far exceeded expectations," Dave McCurnin said of the premier event. "I was worried we might just see 400."

Pigmeister Gary Dauer, who arrived from Leader with a truckload of contenders, was "thrilled" with the turnout, McCurnin said.

Dauer canvassed the crowd to learn the audience arrived from across the U.S. for the races.

By pure coincidence, McCurnin's wife Sally Yate's pig rose to become the champion in the nine-pig run-off.

Plans are already on the drawing board for a reprise performance next year, possibly with a change of venue or two performances.