LA Swine Festival
Time & Location
About the Event
The Louisiana Swine Festival, founded in 1966, is Basile's first and foremost cultural event. The festival grew out of the Southwest Louisiana Swine Association, which began in 1963 with the express purpose of raising and selling feeder pigs in the Basile area. The association held feeder pig sales every three months starting in May of 1964 at the Basile Town Park Recreational Building that is now commonly referred to as the Pig Barn. The success of the feeder pig sales grew into future promotions of the industry. These promotions, coupled with the interest in the 1960’s of local businesses and individuals in luring tourists into Basile and in promoting our culture, eventually led to the establishment of the Louisiana Swine Festival Association.
The Festival Association was organized and financed by selling $2.00 membership certificates in August of 1966. A three-member committee compressed of Hosea Hebert, Voorhies Moreau, and Joyce Fruge were appointed to serve as interim officers until the first regular election of officers was held. The honorees of the first Louisiana Swine Festival were Queen Darla Gayle Smith of Prairieville, King Eldon Manuel of Basile, and Parade Grand Marshall, Edwin Edwards, then Congressman from Crowley. The first King Porky and Queen Petunia were Stewart Ortego and Jade LaFleur both of Basile. The first Grand Champion Pork Cook was Mrs .Allie Young of Basile. Winners of the Greasy Pig Contest were Randy Fruge and Corky Corkin.
The festival has continued to grow over the past years and has been held annually with the exception of 1974. Immediately after the first festival, the growth of the feeder pig industry in the Basile area continued to grow. On May 4, 1967, the new Southwest Louisiana Swine Producers Sale Building was opened at the west end of Basile's Main Street. Thousands of feeder pigs were sold there and Basile became the heart of the Louisiana Swine Industry until the closing of the sales in September of 1974 due to lack of buyers and sellers. Even though swine producing is no longer a major industry in Basile, the Swine Festival has continued as a cultural and tourist attraction in Basile, not only promoting the swine industry, but also the Cajun culture and the pride of Basile.