Jiggy with the Piggy puts ‘Q’ in the spotlight

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, May 9, 2023

KANNAPOLIS — People from far and wide came out over the weekend to eat barbecue and enjoy the perfect weather at the Jiggy with the Piggy festival. 

All of the fun officially began on Thursday with the Jiggy with the Piggy 5K and fireworks after the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball game. The Cannon Ballers temporarily changed their name to the “Kannapolis Q’s” for their home series against the Augusta GreenJackets to coincide with the festival.

The festival has gone through many changes over the years. Originally called Cotton Stock, Kannapolis was eventually asked by the Cabarrus Events Association to help organize the event, with staff adding a barbecue competition that has been going on for nearly a decade. 

On Saturday, there were carnival rides, games, local business vendors and plenty of barbecue for those who gathered to take part. A backyard and masters series competition took place Saturday and Sunday. A people’s choice barbecue tasting was also available for anyone with a ticket to try all kinds of pulled pork before voting on a winner.  

“You get little tiny cups and you think it’s nothing at all, but boy after the time you eat 10 you’re full!” Charlotte resident Tim Kaufman said.

For Tony Fore from Big Butts BBQ in Thomasville, this was the second time he’s been to Jiggy with the Piggy and has been looking forward to it all year. 

“This place is awesome. Really good hospitality, they take care of you very well here. It’s probably one of the best competitions we do,” Fore said. 

Kannapolis Recreation and Special Event Coordinator Becky Tolle points out that getting all of the barbecue participants takes a considerable amount of planning that requires months of work. 

“They’ll start calling us after we are done today and so they want to come back. They know this is an annual event and they love it,” Tolle said. 

Besides all of the food and entertainment, Jiggy with the Piggy is also focused on giving back to those in need. Proceeds from the event go to the Kannapolis YMCA, Kannapolis Rotary Club, Kannapolis Youth Council and the police and fire departments. 

Tolle appreciates how Kannapolis responds with enthusiasm to the festival since this is one of the biggest fundraising weekends of the year for the city. When residents can give back and get something nice in return, then it’s a win-win for everyone.

“To see everybody come in together, to pull together for this community event, I think that’s the best part of the festival. Other than that, it’s the smell of barbecue,” Tolle said.