Big donation seals the deal for fireworks at Pig Fest

Download the Pig Fest partnership form by clicking the button below.  Print the form and give it to your friends and neighbors so that they have an opportunity to support Pig Fest.

​Keep coming back to our site for more information and details about this year's exciting event! Click button below for the schedule of events.

We do not post vendor forms. Interested in Vending? Click Vendor button for info.

Battle of the Bands

Don't miss a moment of the fun this year!

New this year on Thursday night Nov. 10 Churches or groups interested in performing can download the form by clicking the button below. Starts at 7 p.m.



Support Pig Fest

Walter K. (Pete) Gill graduated from high school in Richland in 1959. After receiving a degree in business administration, he worked for Nabisco, retiring in 2002 as comptroller of the company.


The Pig Fest Backyard Challenge will again select the BEST of the best regional cooks to take home cash and trophies Nov. 11 & 12.. Get your local bragging rights here.  Click the buttons below to download the 2016 application and rules for the competition.

Backyard Pig Fest Challenge Application.

Become a judge for the BBQ competitiion. Click on 'GET INVOLVED' at top of this page and send us your contact info.

Richland Main Street Board Meetings

are held each third Tuesday of the month at
6 p.m. in the Richland Inn on Broad Street. Visitors are welcome and community participation is encouraged..

Nov. 11 & 12, 2016

Main Street and DDA help shape Broad Street!

The westernmost block of Victorian storefronts on Broad Street is complete. This year redevelopment will continue with other facade projects. Historical signage in Richland Heritage Park now tells the story of the development on Broad Street since 1837. Richland Downtown Development Authority and Main Street work under the auspices of the City of Richland for historic preservation downtown.

New this year at Pig Fest on Friday night will be a new addition. Regional bands will compete for a $1,000 top prize One band will also earn $100 for generating the greatest fan noise at the close of the competition.

Annual Pig Fest captures a little history and reveals a rich social fabric

A longtime volunteer for Richland’s Pig Fest celebration each November said many times, “The Pig Fest is like a big family reunion.” It brings our kids back to their empty nest. It attracts families that were once part of our community back to visit friends and relatives.

The second weekend in November calls thousands of people to Richland where the barbecue cooking competition has become known as “the best little cook off in Georgia.”  Not lost in the crush of crowds, the energy from the stage and the smoke from the cook teams at Pig Fest are hundreds of mini-family and mini-class reunions.

Thanks to the many volunteers who coordinate Pig Fest, these get-togethers also enjoy a gospel sing, the barbecue, the bands and street dances, the carnival, a motorcycle run, rail history exhibits and a professional fireworks display.

Many of our most promising kids who do well in school leave for college, find great jobs and have successful careers under the big city lights far away from Richland. A few have unprecedented success. Sometimes they step up for Pig Fest.

One has done that this year. The fireworks show, at a cost of more than $4,200, has come to be “the” signature event each Saturday night at Pig Fest.

This year Walter K. (Pete) Gill of Richmond, Va. wanted to provide something special for Pig Fest. His choice was to sponsor the fireworks display. His memories of growing up in Richland obviously never left his heart and inspired him to open the checkbook.

“I wanted to set a precedent for others who have done well in business and challenge them to help Richland grow Pig Fest and preserve downtown,” Gill said. “I will always remember the friends, teachers and family that helped me grow up to be successful.”

“Now, I want to give back.”

That, he has done. The skies over Richland will light up again this year for Pig Fest because of his generosity. Without this commitment it was unlikely that Main Street could have financed this entertainment anchor, which has preceded the headline band on Saturday night for 19 years.

Gill grew up in the Red Hill community on his granddaddy’s farm. He attended school in Richland and graduated in 1959.  He attended Berry College in Rome, Ga. where he worked his way thru school, graduating with a degree in business administration in 1963. His career spanned 39 years with the same company, Nabisco. He retired in 2002 as comptroller.

For weeks before Pig Fest, everyone wants to know what will be new, and more important, who is coming back to town for the big weekend. This year, Gill has come home in more ways than one. He’s now officially a VIP among many who work hard to sustain Pig Fest.

Behind these festivals, most notably, are the Main Street organizers. They work tirelessly through the year and in a coordinated frenzy for several weeks each year with scores of other volunteers to stage every detail for Pig Fest. Gill’s support means more to them than it probably will to the casual Pig Fester. However, everyone would certainly notice the absence of the Saturday night pyrotechnics, but for his generosity.

Donations and sponsorships are critical to not only fund the party, but to create money to support the goal of Pig Fest, which is historic preservation. Everyone can help and Main Street hopes they will. This year, there is even a $50 donation level for the first time. Applications for sponsorships can be downloaded at

All proceeds from the Pig Fest fund efforts by Richland Main Street to improve the prospects for downtown merchants, to provide façade improvements, to assist the Downtown Development Authority in attracting new businesses and to foster commercial expansion in Richland’s historic district.

None of these funds are used for day-to-day operation of the program. The same goes for Taste of Richland, which is set for April 23, 2017.

For all the effort that goes on behind the scenes to create a party for thousands lies the altruist goal of the promoters: Improving life in a small town and offering some small opportunity for its local citizens to come back home to celebrate a lifestyle they loved.

Pig Fest has become a legacy from the past, a hope for the future and a bridge from generation to generation. It brings together children dispersed and friends who have moved away for their professions. Gill encourages them to come back in a big way.

The simple pleasures of life are our most precious treasures and they are always at our fingertips. It’s people like “Pete” Gill who enhances these treasures by coming home and providing the high level of funding necessary to sustain our traditions at Pig Fest.

Pete’ Gill hoists a neighbor’s baby at a christening with one of his friends in Virginia recently. Gill has provided a $4,200 donation to Richland Main Street, which will be used to provide the fireworks show this year.