WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Fair's decision to push the pig scramble from Wednesday to Thursday night couldn't have been better — especially for one family.
Due to heavy rains, the pig scramble was pushed back a day and the turnout for the event was strong.
One family left the fairgrounds with two pigs.
The Foltz sisters — Lelia, 7, and Eva, 5, — were able to secure a pig each.
"I think it was easy," Lelia Foltz said. "All I had to do was push down on the leg."
Lelia was in the first of 10 heats and was able to grab a small white pig by its back legs almost immediately and pulled it into the pen.
With each heat, the kids, ranging in age from 3-8, tried to grab a pig by its legs and pull it to the pen.
The event was divided into four groups of 7 and 8 year olds, three groups of 5 and 6 year olds and three groups of 3 and 4 year olds.
Jim Eastep, who has been running the event for the last 15 years, said there were 67 pigs total and nearly 285 kids.
"It was great," Eastep said. "It couldn't have been any better. Everything was smooth. We did it in about an hour and 15 minutes. ...This was probably the most people I've seen here. The grandstand was almost full. I put some bleachers (down in front of the grandstand) here. I couldn't put anymore here and they were all full."
The children had to put lard on their hands before the pigs were released. Anyone who caught a pig gets to keep the pig after the event is over.
Lelia and Eva's dad, Joe, said they live on a farm and have pigs, but their pigs are much bigger and older than the ones at the Shenandoah County Fair.
"I'm proud of (Lelia)," Joe Foltz said after his oldest daughter won her pig. "I didn't know how she would do. We usually have some pigs on the farm that we'll butcher, but we usually we buy them around 200-250 pounds and grow them out until they're 350 or so and butcher them. She had never been around any little pigs and had to catch any, so I didn't know how it would turn out."
About 15 to 20 minutes after Lelia won her pig, it was Eva's turn.
Much like her sister, Eva said "it was easy."
Lelia said she knew exactly what she was going to do with her pig.
"I'm going to make it eat a lot, and then I'm going to butcher it and eat it," she said.
Joe Foltz said he wasn't sure what the family would do with the pigs.
"We usually have family butchering day on Thanksgiving day and the day after — it's been that way for years," he said. "We'd have to keep them a whole year, so I don't know."
Joe Foltz said he wasn't sure how his children would do going into the scramble, but he was proud of them.
"It looks like we're gaining more pigs," Joe Foltz said with a laugh after Eva won her pig. "I knew it was a possibility (that they could both win), but I didn't know how it would go. I didn't really expect it."
Eastep said Shenandoah County's pig scramble is the largest in Virginia and it's really grown over the years.
"We started out down in a little building and we only had four pigs the first year," Eastep said. "Now it's so big that we had to bring it (to the grandstand) as a main attraction for the Shenandoah County Fair, and we have some good attractions here."
Eastep said he feels like the pig scramble teaches kids about responsibility.
"I like to talk to the kids," Eastep said. "I like to talk to them about what they're going to do with them. I like to see them take them home. We didn't do this just because we like to mess with pigs. We like to do it because it gives kids a chance to develop. It gives them a little responsibility. If those kids have a pig to take care of, it makes them think a little more. They can go out and feed that pig. I know they don't do it every day. I didn't either when I was their age. It gets it in their mind that they want to take care of something."