With any luck, the good old-fashioned BBQ festivals will return in 2022 after seeing a dramatic decline since 2020. It seems that this year, New Orleans is proudly welcoming back a local BBQ festival that has been popular since 2008! This year’s “Hogs for the Cause” is bringing back 2-days of BBQ, bands, and benefiting a cause that helps kids too!
What are Hogs for a Cause all about?
Locals to NOLA are very thankful to see the return of Hogs for a Cause, which has brought the BBQ community together for two days of outstanding BBQ competitions, great musicians, and loads of hungry families. It all began in 2008 as an event to bring back an older tradition of open-flame pig roasting. This southern tradition is based on Conchon de Lait, which is primarily a French Cajun tradition that dates back to 1780.
The method for preparing a whole hog is a little different since they slice a whole milk-fed hog down the center and place it on a grilling grate. It sits in front of a fire for 14 to 15 hours or until the pig stops dripping fat. These days they usually place a whole hog on a BBQ spit and heavily season it before it gets roasted. But for those who uphold the traditional version, it only gets seasoned when it’s cooked and then immediately served.
The Conchon de Lait hog roasting festival started around 1960 as a revival of this old-school method grew in popularity over the years and has always been popular in the Louisiana Cajun communities. Now that it’s reached the mainstream public, folks in NOLA have been enjoying their version of this sacred practice is whole hog roasting. And this time it’s all about helping families and children suffering from pediatric brain cancer.
Each year since 2008, they have raised millions of dollars that go to Hog Houses and the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. Their mission statement is to expand the concept of Hog Houses, a place where children and families can experience a relaxing home-like atmosphere while receiving treatment at the hospital. They also have a program that expands this recovery model outside the state so children outside Louisiana can have the same benefits.
What to expect from Hogs for the Cause
This year, Hogs for the Cause kicks off on April 1-2nd 2022 with as much fanfare as possible. Even with the pandemic in full swing from 2020, they still managed to hold the festival for the last two years without a blink. Since 2009, they raised more than 3.7 million with their charity effort across the nation! But really, the festival is all about BBQ, family, and music which sets the tone of the two days that Hogs for the Cause is presenting.
When it comes to entertainment, they’ve packed the center stage with some very impressive entertainers and musicians. One particular highlight includes Bruce Hornsby who dropped such top hits such as “The Way It Is” and “Mandolin Rain” and also hosts 20 more local and dedicated musicians who are bringing their funk, blues, rock, and Cajun sounds to spice up the festival for the 2-days it runs.
There’s plenty to take in throughout this hog-loving festival including competitions, sampling food items, tons of drinks, and obviously enjoying great music. Although pets were usually welcome at the earlier ‘Hogs for a Cause’ events, they have a strict policy now that advises to leave them at home. But if you happen to be a real party animal, there’s no rule you can’t let your inner-beast loose at this year’s event.
This event will no doubt have plenty of appeal for those who love BBQ hog and get to sample from over 75 competition teams, but the truth is that their actual list of vendors is offering a complete list of what they’ll bring to this year’s pig-out event! Tickets available are expected to sell out soon enough, but luckily there are still premium passes available that feature all-access passes and no-additional charges.
Kids under 10 are still free since this benefit event is all about helping kids, so don’t forget to bring them along with your stretch pants and a healthy appetite for BBQ goodness. We’re hoping that this year will be a great continuation of a cause that continues to help children suffering from brain cancer while bringing the spirit of hog roasting back to NOLA. We hope to see you there this year!