Hogs for the Cause firing up the pits for pediatric brain cancer

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hogs for the Cause, the annual charity barbecue and music festival, will light up the pits and the UNO Lakefront Arena this weekend.

More than 90 teams will compete while raising financial aid for families whose children are being treated for pediatric brain cancer.

This year’s fest kicks off a very busy spring festival season Fri., April 1, and will go through Saturday night. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday.

General admission tickets start at $50 for Friday, $60 for Saturday, and $99 for a two-day pass. Each ticket comes with a wristband for cashless payment and grants you entry where you can access food from all 90 teams and over 20 bands on three stages.

The teams will sell food to raise money and compete to win awards in a series of categories.

On Friday, teams will compete in bacon, chicken wings, sauce, and mayo-based sides. On Saturday, the categories are pork ribs, pork shoulder, whole hog, and “porkpourri.”

The be crowned grand champion Saturday, a team must perform well in at least three of Saturday’s categories and must raise at least $4,000.

Hogs is touting the biggest live music lineup yet, with Galactic headlining Friday alongside special guests Luther Dickinson and Corey Glover. Saturday’s headliner is Shakey Graves. VIP tickets are going for $219 ($449 for both days) and include complimentary cocktails in the VIP tent and fancier “private” restrooms.

Co-founder Rene Louapre started the fest in 2009 with childhood friend Becker Hall.

The fest attracts between 20,000 to 30,000 attendees each year.

Many of the teams will throw parties and tailgates at their tents Friday night that will rage until the early hours of the morning. Ticket sales from these musical events will add to the fundraising total. A $60 ticket gets you into The Boar’s Nest, where you can expect “purple drank,” ice luges, and music from Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mannie Fresh, and Juvenile.

In 14 years, Hogs for the Cause has raised millions of dollars for over 12,000 families. Last year, they raised more than $2.8 million.

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