Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 24, 2014

Bluefield College students enjoy sun-splashed Mud Pig Day event

BLUEFIELD, Va. — People were slipping, sliding, bouncing and apparently having a good time on Thursday morning, afternoon and evening at the 36th annual Mud Pig Day celebration on the Bluefield College campus.

There are many legends of how the Mud Pig tradition began, including at least one that involved a living pig, but Chris Shoemaker, BC director of public relations, subscribes to the notion that an innocent water balloon battle in the spring of 1979 escalated into a full-scale campus-wide water battle.

“Dr. Charles Tyre, a former BC president, made it into a formal tradition and made it into a day for students to relax and enjoy themselves before the start of finals week on Friday,” Shoemaker said. “We have the slides, mud pit and bounce houses and a concert (featuring Cloverton) at 7 p.m. Students can take a little break before finals.”

A trio of young students, Jara Armstrong and Breanna Buterakos — both challenge students from Princeton and Bluefield, Va., respectively — along with their friend, Jessi Davidson, of Bluefield, slid down the high hill on the BC campus and took the plunge in the mud pit as firefighters with the Bluefield, Va., Volunteer Fire Department filled the pit with mud and water.

“This is my second year as a challenge student, but my first time at Mud Pig Day,” Armstrong said. “It’s fun!”

“My dad’s on the faculty here, so it’s my tenth year here,” Buterakos said

“This is my second year at Mud Pig Day,” Davidson said. “It’s fun.”

Paul Watson, a graduate in the BC class of 2005, enjoyed Mud Pig Day as an undergraduate student, and returned with his wife Kim, a Bluefield State College graduate, to enjoy the good food and sunshine.

“It seems like it’s always chilly on Mud Pig Day,” Paul Watson said. “A couple of years ago, it was so cold that the grease was solid. Still, I think it is always a good way for students to relax before the start of finals.”

Andrew McCarty, a BC sophomore from Roanoke, Va., was covered with mud from head to toe. “The slide from the top of the hill is really fast this year,” McCarty said. “It’s amazing how fast it all happens. Last year there were more bounce houses, but it’s great to come back and be with friends.” McCarty said his finals start on Saturday.

Matthew Jones, a freshman from Jamestown, N.C., said his finals won’t start until Saturday, but he added that he’s ready. “I think this is cool and the food is really good,” Jones said.

No one seemed to be giving too much thought to finals, but they all seemed to be enjoying themselves in the sun.

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