Bluefield College students to celebrate 37th Annual Mud Pig Day - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield College students to celebrate 37th Annual Mud Pig Day

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Bluefield, Va. (WVVA)  It's a tradition like none other -- one that has endured the tests of time for decades and with its embellished memories of origin and antics has become near legendary.

It's Bluefield College's Mug Pig Day, and for the 37th year in a row, BC students will take time out from classes and books to unwind and relax as they celebrate the culmination of another academic year, April 30, with the time-honored activities of the custom they call Mud Pig Day.

“This is one of the days of the year that students look forward to most,” said Kelly Bittler, BC's director of student activities, who organizes the year-end event. “It gives them a break, a chance to relax and have fun before finals and to celebrate the end of the academic year.”

The Mud Pig Day tradition began on the campus of Bluefield College in the spring of 1979 when prior to the start of final exams BC students took a day off from classes, away from books, tests and studying to commemorate the end of another semester of achievement.

Some say the tradition began with a simple water balloon fight that developed into a full-scale, campus-wide water battle. Others recall how the event emerged out of a desire to increase school spirit and was named after a Lady Rams softball player who looked like every game she played was in the mud. Still others recall how the early years of Mud Pig Day included the actual chasing of a small pig, the crowning of a Mud Pig Day King, and the development of a formal day of games, competition, food, music, recreation, and fun under the guidance of Dr. Charles Tyer, president of the college from 1972 to 1988.

“I was there for the first Mud Pig Day,” said 1981 alumna Anna Bradberry Jones about the beginning of the tradition in 1979. “It was so much fun, and what a mess it made. I remember all the girls outside the dorm trying to clean up with the water hose and tracking the water and mud all the way to our rooms. Those were such great memories.”

The 2015 version of the tradition, open to the community, will begin at 10 a.m. with the ever-popular mud pit -- a man-made pool of cold water and murky mud just outside the Dome Gymnasium -- and the Mud Pig Day waterslide -- a long plastic tarp on BC's high hill beside the Dome doused with water and cooking oil.

“The slide is awesome! You fly,” said Lee Norris, a BC sophomore about his first ever Mud Pig Day last spring. “You get cut up a little bit, but it's still fun. I love it. No class, and you get to come out here and get down and dirty.”

Beginning at 11 a.m. will be rock wall climbing and inflatable volleyball competitions, followed by lunch outside on the campus lawn at noon, featuring the time-honored roasted pig and other barbecue picnic favorites.

Afternoon Mud Pig Day activities, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will include a mud obstacle course race and a corn-hole tournament. Commemorative Mud Pig Day t-shirts will be available throughout the entire day. And, following dinner at 5 p.m., students will compete in a lip sync competition. The Mud Pig Day festivities will conclude with a bonfire in the field near the Dome Gymnasium at 9:30 p.m.

“I heard about Mud Pig Day when I visited Bluefield College (as a prospective student),” said junior Morgan Stephens. “At first I thought, ‘What?,” but now I know what they meant. This is great. It's by far the best day of the year.”

Local residents are invited to stop by and join the Bluefield College family for Mud Pig Day 2015. There will be no charge for the fun, except for meals and t-shirts. For more information, contact the BC Office of Public Relations by e-mail at bcnews@bluefield.edu or by phone at 276-326-4212.

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