Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PIG Party 2012 – the 10th Annual Edition

My first birthday after I moved to Golden, Phil was surprised and a little a baffled when I told him I wanted a basketball hoop as my birthday gift. You have to understand – we have the best driveway in the neighborhood. Maybe the best driveway in all of Golden, and it was just begging for a basketball hoop. Phil gave me that look that men give women they think are daft but are hoping to appease, and went across the street to talk to our neighbor Jack, who works for a sporting goods company. Instead of getting the simple hoop and backboard I had in mind, we ended up with a competition quality adjustable backboard – it’s awesome!!

Then, of course, I had to justify the investment, so I suggested having a block party, with a “PIG” basketball tournament as the entertainment. [Most you are familiar with playing HORSE: The first player with possession of the ball attempts to make a basket. If that player is successful, every subsequent player must attempt to make a basket while using identical technique, stance, and physical location as the first player. If a player fails to make the specified shot, that player is assessed one of five penalty letters. The five letters are H, O, R, S, and E, in that order; the player receives the first letter that he has not already received from a previous round. The round then continues, as every other player needs to attempt the original shot. When a round is complete, the ball passes to the next player in turn, who is allowed to try a new technique, stance, or physical location to begin a new round. When a player has been assessed all five penalty letters, thus spelling the word "horse," that player is eliminated from the game. Rounds are played until all but one player has been eliminated. The remaining player is the winner.] With anywhere from 30 to 70 people, a HORSE tournament would take far too long, so we play PIG instead.

The party is slowly evolving into a neighborhood tradition, held every year the first Saturday after Labor Day.   The pot luck enables everyone to contribute and some neighbors have a certain dish that everyone expects them to bring, like Linda's beans!  This year my sister Barb once again showed us her creative side with cupcakes made special for our party. 
Over time, we have created some “PIG Party” traditions – for instance, the Grand Prize has always been a piggy bank. We also award a piggy bank (filled with the pennies and nickels from our change cups that Phil and I save all year) to the winner of the kid’s category. Lately I’ve also started seeding the banks with some dollar coins, and the adults win gift cards to Golden Sweets, the ice cream shop owned by our across-the-rear-alley neighbors.

Some years the level of play is fiercely competitive; some years the beer drinking is where the competition is focused. But all in all, everyone seems to have a pretty good time. Our trash talking is definitely of a higher caliber than our shot-making, but that is kind of the point. Anyone can play PIG. In fact, when Phil and I got married, his mom was on a hot streak and beat every guy at the wedding party – at least once!

This year our neighbor Michael won not only the kid’s division, but the overall Grand Prize, too! Phil was the 1st Runner Up, and now is the proud owner of his own piggy bank.

So, if you find yourself in Golden the first Saturday after Labor Day, c’mon over. We’ve got brats, beer, and b-ball – it’s an all American party and everyone is invited (just ask our mailman, who wandered in by accident one year and now adjusts his vacation schedule to be available for the games).


  1. This is on Peggy's list for next year. I of core have to check the Bobcats schedule.
    LOOKS like soooo much fun.

  2. Always wonderful to hear about your most recent Pig Party ... and all the other wonderful neighborhood things that you do. You two should write a book on grassroots urban renewal. Peggy