The competitions, which have a lot in common, will take place Sunday
at a new location, the Lincoln Stage. First will be the hog-calling
competition at 2 p.m. The husband-calling competition will begin at
Winners will receive $100 and $50 in premium money; second
place will receive $30; and third place will get $15. Registration
is available in advance by calling 217-524-9825 and also an hour
before the event.
The contests have one simple rule: The fairgoer must present a
call. How they present their call, however, is up to the fairgoer.
Some choose to use actual hog calls they've learned on the farm;
some fairgoers use props and costumes to enhance their performance;
and others rely on sheer talent.
Rachael Atchinson, on-air personality with Fox 55/27, will also
be on hand to help judge the competitions. Joining her will be Amy
Bliefnick, state fair manager, and Tom Jennings, acting director of
the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
If the past is any indication, judges like realistic hog calls.
Last year's top hog caller was Nathan Broaddus, from Raymond, who
picked up his calls from working at Borgic's hog farm. He presented
two calls: the loading shoot call and the mating call with a boar.
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In the past, judges have also appreciated fancy apparel. Last year's
top husband-caller, Kelly Tierney, from Cornland, braved the
sky-high temperatures and dressed up as Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary
Todd Lincoln, by sporting a Victorian bonnet and dress. Her husband,
who had been "modernized" by his trip to the fair, showed up in a
Hawaiian T-shirt, blue jean shorts, tennis shoes and corn dog in
But most of all, the judges appreciate a good laugh. Every
winning call has been as entertaining as it was outrageous.
The husband- and hog-calling contests are presented by Hog Inc.
Preregistration is also available by calling 217-524-9825.
The 2008 Illinois State Fair runs Aug. 8-17.
Illinois State Fair file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]