Saturday, May 29, 2010

July 2010: 9th Annual Pig Pickin’ Birthday Bash (and Reunion?)

It’s the annual Scooby “Hey Mama, No Drama, Pig-Slayin’, Birthdayin’, Drink-Drinkin’, Canoe sinkin’, Volleyballin, Hey-Y’all-in”, bonfirin’, very tirin’ Barbecue Event of the year!”hangingout

Everyone is invited! Come one come all, come short, come tall, just come! This is my once-a-year non-related family reunion where all my friends, their families, and as many newcomers as we can get can gather together for one day of the summer to hang out, eat good food, and have a good time. It always winds up being a birthday party for at least two people. This year’s official party people are Mom and Amy (And Bridget I think). (No, you don’t have to bring gifts. Showing up is all we’re asking.. though I’m sure the party girls won’t turn them down if you do! lol”

I’ve been throwing this event since Doc and I started it in 2001 and there won’t be many more years left to do it on the beach, so I want everyone to enjoy it as often as possible!

Changes for 2010

There are two main changes this year to the event:

  1. More guests: We’ve packed as many as 60 or so at these events in the past and never come close to running out of food or space or good time, so I’m broadening my horizons this year! Past guests have turned this into a chance to bring more and more of their families each year, so I’m going to try to do likewise. The Jordan side of my family has never had a reunion so I’m extending the invite to any family member I can find in the hopes that we can expand the tradition by bringing family and friends together for one great day.
  2. Menu Change: Trying to coordinate who is bringing what gets more difficult each year, especially as the crowd grows in number. If a person bringing a critical food/dish/accessory can’t come it causes a crisis. So this year, we’re making it really simple. Bring Cash! We are going to cook and provide ALL the food and accessories this year. You just have to show up and have a good time. We’re certainly not trying to get rich off this thing, but a pig, cooker, and tents to feed 60 people runs over $400.00 so we’re asking the following: (no exceptions)

When is the Event:

The “event” seems to expand a little more each year, so I’ll list the general guidelines and we’ll go from there. The Pig Pickin’ itself starts as soon as you can arrive on Saturday Morning, July 10, 2010. In recent years we have had more and more people showing up a day or sometimes TWO days early to hang out, help out, and just visit the beach and friends. Over time we’ve developed a tentative playbook for each year. It goes something like this:

  • Thursday July 8th: Myself and a few volunteers go down to get the cooker test-fired, all the materials gathered up, and start getting ready for Friday. Thursday night is spent hanging out in the front yard with the volley ball net, canopies, drinking sweet tea and telling stories of  previous years while wondering what it’s gonna be like this year.
  • Friday July 9th: Pre-partiers show up and hang out. All the tents and canopies are setup, kids swim in the water in front of the house, and most of the out-of-towners come down to Manteo to get their hotel room and visit OBX. There is a friday night ritual we’ve started and plan to continue:
    • Option A: We get together all the people with four-wheel-drive vehicles and head out to drive on the beach and experience the wonder of the Outer Banks like it was meant to be: from the back of a truck with a cooler of drinks! Recent federal legislation is limiting access to the beaches so we can’t plan for this until the actual day of the event because we never know if the access ramps to the beaches will be open or not. (Hence option B)
    • Option B: We throw a huge bon-fire in the back yard once it cools off and we sit around and hang out and relax in preparation for Saturday’s long event.
  • Saturday July 10th:
    • 6 AM: The pig goes on the cooker! Show up anytime between 6AM and 11 AM and you might be put to work! lol
    • 11 AM: The “Event” begins and folks start to show up in earnest. Kids can swim. Adults can sit in the shade. There’s canoeing, swimming, volleyball, all kinds of stuff.
    • 2 PM: I shoot to have the pig done and have folks eating by 1-2 PM. If you’re early, that’s great. If you come later, don’t worry. We always have enough food for the stragglers! It’s an ALL DAY EVENT.
    • Evening: (Somewhere between 8-9ish) we have a bonfire again or head to the beach, or both!

Where is the Event:

Mom’s house in Manns Harbor North Carolina. You can visit any of the posts from previous years to see what we’re gonna do but it’s a half acre of grassy lawn right on the water. We’ll have the volleyball net up and things for the kids to do and we’ll have the tents and pavilions up so the adults can get out of the sun. There will be canoes and stuff to do in the water for kids of all ages, plenty of space to sit back and relax, a good crowd of friends and family, and more. I don’t know how much more yet, but I’ll post it as I come up with the plans.There’s usually a boat or two to go out on the water. Sometimes we’ve had people show up with jet-skis, etc. Last year we had three guests arrive by boat! All we need is someone to parachute in this year and we’ll have covered all possible venues for entry!

Rules for the Event:

To keep this a fun event for all involved we kind of separate the day into two parts. Anyone wanting to do some serious drinking is welcome to do so any time before Saturday morning, and on Saturday night. Since we try to keep this a family-style affair, I do ask that you keep your wits about you during the main event on Saturday.

Drinking is perfectly fine, just be level headed and don't get obnoxious. From about 11 AM until 6 PM on Saturday is likely to be filled with family, some younger children, etc and I want them to have a good time too and feel like they can bring their families the next year. In all the years we've been doing this, we've never had anyone get out of hand but I feel better if I say it up-front. Anyone that gets obnoxious gets ejected from the event via slip-n-slide!

Pets: Lots of us have pets and mom has a big yard, so a reasonable amount of pets are acceptable. If you want to bring your dogs, just be aware that when the food is served they will need to be staked, or roped up in the back yard so as not to cause a mess while we're trying to eat. Other than that they can be loose all day as long as they’re behaved. If your dog is aggressive or barks all the time or in general just annoys everyone but you, I reserve the right to drown it or tie it to my dog and let it learn some manners! lol.

Other than that, just don't trash my  mom’s yard.  Clean up behind yourself, keep the cigarette butts and trash off the grass and put where it belongs, and don’t break anything you can’t afford to repair. That’s about it. lol.

Overnight Guests –Hotel Rates

Mom has talked to the Duke of Dare motel and they are extending us the same rates they did last year. (Great benefit of having a motel as a client!) If you need hotel accommodations for any of the nights in question the rates are as follows:

  • No Pets
  • Single Queen Bed Room - $58.30 per night.
  • Double Queen Beds Room - $77.50 per night.

The hotel is very generous to give us these rates in a tourist beach in the middle of their busiest season. In order to be sure you have a room, please book your rooms no later than June 20th. You can call the Duke of Dare motel at (252) 473-2175‎ and tell them you’ve been given special rates and you’re with the Brenda Outlaw party for the July 10th weekend. If you have any trouble booking your rooms or getting the discount, let me know and I’ll help you get your reservations. (The owners give us this discount so the in-house staff doesn’t always know about it. It caused some confusion one year…)

Things to Bring

We’re handling the food this year so that makes life a lot easier on everyone, but there still might be a few amenities guests who haven’t been here might want to bring.

  • Alcohol: We will provide a large variety of soft drinks, teas, diet sodas, caffiene free, and all the normal stuff to keep most folks happy, but if you want alcohol it’s BYOB.
  • Camp Chairs: We usually borrow a bunch of chairs and tables for everyone but you can never go wrong bringing your own camp-chairs.
  • Water-Stuff: If you’re bringing kids and they want to play in the water, its clean, safe and they’ll have a great time. The water level at the dock is a little over two feet, and you can swim out to deeper water with no problem, so it’s great for everyone from ages 8-80 without supervision. If you have little children floats, beach balls, and the like can be fun. We’re already going to have canoes and life jackets for those who want to go out on the water.

Who Else Is Attending:

This is another change from year’s past; I’m not going to publish a guest list. Every year I forget people to invite and then I feel like a dirtbag! lol. If you’re reading this post and you are a friend of ANY of us, you’re so very much welcome to come. We want as many friends and family as we can get to help us enjoy the weekend. We save money all year to be able to do this once per year so the more the merrier!


I’m publishing this post on my blog, on Facebook, via email, and through friends. My blog post will be updated regularly throughout the process with new information so feel free to bookmark the page and check back for updates. Please remember to RSVP via email, phone, text, facebook, or carrier pigeon so we know how many are coming and how many to cook for. We just need need confirmed numbers when it comes time to purchase the food and supplies.

Still need convincing:

If you’re still not sure, take a look at a few links and photos from past year’s events!


food2 racing eating pig3

kids-water water

food pig2


  1. It sounds like a very nice time and you are kind to offer the opportunity to others. Have a great time. May you have sunny skies and smiling faces.

  2. I wish I could go. But unfortunately after being out of work for 2 months with no unemployment, I'm broke as a church mouse. :(


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