Hogs For The Cause is the brainchild of two local food aficionados who, in the fall of 2008, devised a plan to bring the hallowed tradition of the southern pig roast to New Orleans. Early on, founders Rene Louapre – one of the minds behind quintessential local food blog Blackened Out – and Becker Hall decided the pork bacchanalia should include some sort of charitable element, but they were unsure on who or what to focus until they met Ben Sarrat, Jr. At the age of 4, Sarrat was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, an insidious form of brain cancer that is one of the most devastating pediatric diseases.
Ben Sarrat, Jr. provided the spark of inspiration needed to get the idea off the ground, and in 2009 the first Hogs For The Cause was held on The Fly at Audubon Park. The all-day BBQ Extravaganza raised money to help his family deal with the financial burden associated with his care. Sadly, Sarrat passed just days before last year’s event so he was unable to see Hogs For The Cause enjoy a truly breakout year in 2010. 2,500 attendees helped raise over $30,000 for families dealing with pediatric brain cancer. Still, Louapre and Hall were determined to do more:
Following the 2010 event, Becker and Rene wanted to take the event to the next level. And they have done so, by moving the event to City Park, bringing in live music, and committing even more resources to raising money to help families.
The pork and the beer will still be there in spades, but the new, larger venue allowed the pair to put together a ripper of a live soundtrack, one rivaling that of many outdoor gatherings that rely solely on their musical offerings to draw a crowd. The Radiators – adding yet another stop to their swan song path of destruction – are headlining, and the bill also includes Amanda Shaw and The Cute Guys, Mississippi Rail Company, Anders Osborne featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Soul Rebels Brass Band and Honey Island Swamp Band. Plus, as they have done on special occasions over the past year, the latter two groups will combine for a rollicking “Swamp N’ Soul” set in between their respective time slots.
Hogs For The Cause 2011 will take place at City Park (near the rugby fields across from City Bark) on March 26, 2011. The music starts at noon and tickets are available online or at the gate.