'Best Pig Out Yet' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Best Pig Out Yet'

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Pig Out In The Park brings in thousands to delve into their favorite fair-like foods and put diets on the back burner. But this year is a little bit different, because organizers are calling it the largest pig out yet.

Organizers estimate between 104,000 and 105,000 people attended the festival this year, a 15% increase from the year before. On average the event brings the city more than $4 million in vendor sales as well as what local hotels bring in, but with this years record breaking attendance, the event is set to bring in more than 1 million dollars in vendor sales alone.

"People are looking forward to the event, we've now solidified ourselves as a major event here that people count on coming to," said Bill Burke one of the event organizers.

This past Friday, the event saw more than 30 thousand people in the park, a record breaking number, and with that sales from vendors have gone up more than 15 percent from previous years.

Burke says all this money will stay local, being reinvested into the event and even some local charities.

"About 25 years ago we started looking at the food bank as a beneficiary for the pig out, the food connection is just too obvious so what we do is we partner with second harvest food bank and put up contribution cans at all the booths out of that we'll raise about 15 hundred dollars," said Burke.

After all donations for second harvest food bank are collected, Burke matches those donations with a check. The funds coming straight from the pig out at the park event. 

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"Pig Out In The Park" drew thousands of visitors to Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane Saturday, providing an economic boost to the city.

City officials say the event carries a $4.1 million economic impact. Over six days, it's expected food vendors in Riverfront Park will serve about 196,000 people.

"We've been pretty busy," Steven Kitchens from Three Ninjas Mobile Food Catering said Saturday. "It's awesome."

Each year, sales from food alone reach  nearly $1 million. 40 vendors set up shop in the grass, providing everything from chocolate covered cheesecake, to philly cheesesteaks, to a glazed doughnut double cheeseburger with bacon. 

"It was great hearing a lot of good things about food and people loving what they are getting," said Camille Rivera Peterson from Crepe Tyme & Gyro Gyro.

Pig Out In The Park runs through Monday night.
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