This weekend is special here in Cleveland. It’s Pig Pickin’ Weekend! For those of you (in other words almost all of you) who don’t know what I’m talking about, the Pig Pickin’ is a big barbeque competition held every year at Delta State. Local businesses and some departments from DSU (such as the library) set up tents nearby. It was also our home opener so there was a football game (plus a pep rally and a soccer game) and of course tailgating at Statesmen Park (which is not the football stadium, but a field across from it).
Pig Pickin’ weekend functions more or less like what Homecoming weekend was when I was in college complete with live music. But it’s different down here. For one people actually take college football seriously. Nobody did when I was in college, possibly because SUNY Buffalo’s football team was terrible at the time. But being at the game is the thing to do around here on a Saturday night. It wasn’t just college students there. I saw plenty of families as well. The Pig Pickin’ in a way is a giant tailgate party. There was even some Barbeque cooked for sale to people attending the pre-game festivities (which I don’t think is typical for such competitions).
Now I’ve never been a huge fan of football. I don’t have anything against it, but the sport never really thrilled me for one reason or another. So one would expect that a giant tailgating party wouldn’t be something I would be into. But having volunteered to help out at the library’s tent, and as well as the Cleveland-Bolivar Young Professional who were helping to serve food, there was no room for backing out. And it turns out that I had a good time. The food was good and the game the library had set up at their tent (Pictionary) was actually surprisingly fun.
If I was still living up North, I probably would not have gone to either the Pig Pickin’ or the Football game. It’s not that moving to Mississippi has suddenly caused me to become a fan. But down here this is what people do for fun. My point is that when you are living in a small town you have to adapt to the local culture or end up feel out of place. As the old saying goes “when in Rome do as the Romans do”. So if football is the big thing, than football is what I’ll be doing. The important thing is to keep an open mind and be willing to experience new things because you never know how life intends to surprise you.