FAMILY FUN DAY: Pigs and the pub will be the focus of the Alstonville Family Festival this Sunday. Pictured are organisers Les Wiles, Liz Bugden and Belinda Cordery with pigs at the ready for the pig races, and other supporters.
FAMILY FUN DAY: Pigs and the pub will be the focus of the Alstonville Family Festival this Sunday. Pictured are organisers Les Wiles, Liz Bugden and Belinda Cordery with pigs at the ready for the pig races, and other supporters. Graham Broadhead

Fun family festival on Alstonville Main Street on Sunday

IT MAKES perfect sense that flying pigs would be the feature for a celebration of the anniversary of a pub with two birthdates.

You might think this was something brewed over a beer or two, but it wasn't. There are no porkies here.

It's part of the Alstonville Family Festival to be held in Main St on Sunday, from 8am to 5pm.

The street will be closed for market stalls, kids' rides and - wait for it - racing pigs.

It's part of Alstonville's 150th anniversary celebrations.

And it's the June 1 birthday of the pub, which the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society puts at being established in 1901, but a glass panel on the front door has the date as 1896.

But leave that crackling on the spit roast for now and we'll chew the fat on dates later. Back to the racing pigs.

Pig steward Les Wiles, from the Alstonville Lions Club, said the porkers were professional racers touring with Noah's Racing Pigs.

It's not the fastest trotters that win, but the smartest, as the six little piggies and their acute sniffers negotiate an obstacle course to get to a bowl of milk first.

There will be six races on the card in the track at the Federal Hotel's car park from 11am to 3pm, and an auction for punters to bid on ownership of each of the six pigs in each race.

Money could go on Kevin Bacon, Piggy Sue or Grunter, to name just a few of the wee racers.

The winning owner gets half the pool of cash from the auction, and the rest goes to the Lions club for community projects.

Then it's into the hotel for a celebratory drink.

Now back to that hazy establishment of the hotel.

Ian Kirkland, from the Alstonville historical society, said researchers in the group were certain the pub was established in 1901, which meant there was no explanation for the 1896 date on the front door.

While Mr Kirkland is - as historians should be - particular about dates, he joined in the fun of the festival and suggested, like most people, it was best to celebrate the younger date, which made the pub not so old.

The festival is sponsored by Summerland Credit Union and organised by the Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce, the Alstonville Lions Club, the Rotary Club of Alstonville, Alstonville Apex Club and the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society, with support from Ballina Shire Council.



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