Tuesday, October 9, 2007 speaks to Festival Director Mike Kirby interview with Mike Kirby, festival coordinator for Kingstree Pig Pickin’, bringing you and update on the 35th Annual Kingstree Pig Pickin Festival.

Question: Mike, tell everyone a little bit about the festival that is in fact taking place October 18 through October 21 in Kingstree, SC.
Mike Kirby: “Our festival is filled with antique car shows, parades, live music, arts and craft and it is centered around our famous “Pig Pickin’” which is a competitive Barbeque Cook-Off.

Question: With all the included events taking place during the festival, when do you actually start planning this?
Mike Kirby: We start planning on the January of the year before then about four months before the festival we really begin full focus on the festival

Question: How many years have you been doing this?
Mike Kirby: I have been a part of the actual event for over 17 years and have been director of events for the past 4 years

Question: Since you have been part of the Kingstree Pig Pickin’, have you seen an annual increase in attendance?
Mike Kirby: Yes! Since I have been an actual part of the event, the Town of Kingstree has taken definite steps to improve on the festival each season and that has in turn lead to a substantial increase in attendance.

Question: What was last year's attendance?
Mike Kirby: Approximately 20 thousand. 20k

Question: What do you expect this year?
Mike Kirby: We expect at least same as last year plus the additional attendance brought by the Dolly’s Imagination Library concert which we feel will easily be several thousand.

Question: When is the actual Barbeque Cook-Off?
Mike Kirby: It begins Friday afternoon (October 19, 2007) and continue overnight into Saturday at which time judging begins around 12 noon on Saturday, October 20, 2007.

Question: Who are the judges and how are they selected?
The judges are a certified panel of judges provided by the state of South Carolina’s Barbeque Association.

Question: What is the prize?
Mike Kirby: 1st prize is $2,000 plus free entry for next years Pig Pickin’ as well as free entry into the South Carolina State competition!

Question: This year the buzz seems to be all around the southeast that you guys are brining the 1st Annual Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Benefit Concert.
Tell the viewers how this came about.
Mike Kirby: The idea was brought to our attention by local man, Jacob Timmons. Most of us knew Jacob or at least knew of him and his family and we all agreed that the idea was great and we wanted to do our part to help him make this happen.

Question: What has been the response from those around you?
Mike Kirby: Positive! Local and national businesses have came through with sponsorships and involvement as well as teams of volunteers to help make this event a success.

Question: How many people do you expect to see turn out for this event?
Mike Kirby: We feel it will be at least several thousand.

Closing statement: Well, with a name like Dolly Parton standing behind this event, we are certain it will be fantastic!