Sponsors increase prize money by $4,000 for the Belle Fair’s Greased Pig, Barn Animal

Roxie Murphy
Staff Writer

BELLE— Prize money for the second annual Belle Fair Greased Pig Contest and the new Barn Animal Scramble event has been increased by $4,000 and distributed between categories, according to event co-organizer Jimmy Zumwalt.

“Prize money could go up, but the adult teams are guaranteed $500 a team for the winner,” Zumwalt said. “When it gets to the adult teams, the animals gets bigger.”

The animals are also different per category.

“The one (Barn Animal Scramble) with kids 4-years-old and under is catching chickens,” Zumwalt said. “Most don’t want to catch a chicken, just chase it. It provides entertainment where every kid that does it is on a level playing field.”

The Barn Animal Scramble contest, $200 to the winner of each category, includes 5 to 7-year-olds removing a ribbon from a lamb or goat’s tail; eight to 11 years-old will have to carry or lead a goat to ring; 12 to 14-year-olds will catch adult sheep/goat and lead to ring. Another $500 prize is available to the two-person team winners of each of the following categories: 15 to 18 year-olds, adult men and adult women — who will have to catch, halter, and lead a calf to ring.

“It will have a halter on it, but it has never been haltered before,” Zumwalt explained. “They will have to lead it to the center of the arena.”

Each category will also have a bigger pen where they will have to catch the animal. Zumwalt and wife Wendy came up with the greased pig and calf contest last year, and added the Barn Animal Scramble contest this year. 

“It’s the same entertainment, just more of it this year,” Zumwalt said.

They also have more seating lined out for the events.

“Last year we had no idea what we were getting into,” Zumwalt said. “We had a little idea, and before we knew it, it was huge, and there was not enough seating. That was the biggest complaint people had.”

This year, they added bleachers, and will arrange it to where everyone can see and will hopefully be even bigger and better. The event is arranged by local sponsors including Zumwalt, Lloyd Hicks and Bruce Chanks. There aren’t any sanctions or affiliations to another event or organization. Last year, Zumwalt’s daughter Samie Chitwood, won the Belle Fair Princess and the Greased Pig contest. The Maries County Advocate caught Chitwood on camera with the Greased Pig. Zumwalt was happy for her, but said the event was really about getting back to what a community fair should be, with wholesome family-friendly entertainment.

“It was all about getting back to the basics and giving back to our community last year,” Zumwalt said of the new and popular event. “Then the editor of our newspaper won an award for the picture a year later. Just like the hay trip to Kansas; a small idea that turns huge. It just comes back around. It’s a good example of every action has a reaction and when things come full circle, helping people we don’t know, and bringing things together — everybody wins.” 

Each event has a $15 sign-up fee, and participants who sign up before July 10 will receive a t-shirt. 

“We are trying to make it easier to round up and keep track of all the animals,” Zumwalt said.

Sign-ups will also be accepted the day of the event. Rules and registration for the event can be found in the 2019 Belle Fair Book or call 573-619-1860, 573-263-1274 with questions.