by Mark Dryfhout
For the ninth year in a row, the Ransomville Free Methodist Church is holding the Pigapalooza community event on their grounds at 3924 Ransomville Road in Ransomville. The family-friendly event is free of charge and parking is also complimentary. Pigapalooza will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 4 to 8 p.m.
According to event coordinator Robert Moore, the church began the community event as a pig roast. "We got a free pig," said Moore. "We figured we'd better do something with it, so we had a pig roast the first year. We wanted to have a community event that's free."
After making some changes, the Pigapalooza event no longer holds a pig roast. But they have added many new attractions. They include a bounce house, Wild Kritters of Niagara, the Primate Sanctuary, Western New York Bow Hunters Association, the Corvette Car Club and Cataract Cruisers. There are also hayrides, face painting, plus appearances by Co-Co the clown and Dave Jeffers magic for the little ones.
For refreshment and consumption, there's pizza provided by Favorite's and Destino's; pulled pork sandwiches "with all the fixins" by Ransomville Free Methodist Church; plus hot dogs, cold drinks, cookies and coffee provided by the Orange Cat and Tim Hortons. The evening ends with a full fireworks display presented by Waste Management, Ki-Po Motors, First Niagara Bank and Hardison Funeral Home.
Moore says the most popular events are the petting zoo, pony rides and primate exhibit. He adds that Pigapalooza will also feature "a great band and great food." On stage are Devan Golda and the Soul Purpose Band. "The people who are performing this year are really talented."
Pigapalooza is a nonprofit event that is hosted solely for the community's enjoyment. A donation jar will be available in order to help the church cover the cost of the free event. Also, several other donation opportunities will be available to help the community including a Upstate New York Transplant Services blood drive, four tables of volunteer organizations - the Magdalene Project, Celebrate Recovery from the Ransomville Free Methodist Church, Lockport Care Net and Set Free recovery from the Chapel at CrossPoint in Getzville.
The Ransomville church also has a food bank running and a used clothing drop-off. The clothing collected from the clothing drop off will be sold to raise money for community projects.
"We had 700 people attend last year and served at least 600 dinners," says Moore. "Bring as many friends as you can from all areas, everyone is welcome."
Pigapalooza is sponsored by Ashker's Café, Crosby's Market, Dutch Oven Society of WNY, First Niagara Bank, Hardison Funeral Home, Ki-Po Motors, McDonalds, Orange Cat Coffee House, Ransomville Bus Lines, Sam's Club, Stevenson's Hardware, Tim Hortons, Toshiba Business Solutions and Waste Management.
For more on Pigapalooza, visit the Ransomville Free Methodist Church website, www.refmconnect.org.