Snoqualmie Valley Record • June 20, 2011 • 9
Block Par t y North Bend
July 23, 2011
PUBLISHED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SNOQUALMIE VALLEY RECORD
The arts come to life, Page 10 Artists’ Alley showcases Valley talents
Master your might, Page 12 Strongman (and woman) contest all about fun
Dogs play dress up, Page 14 Costumed canines, doggy Olympics are on
Only rock ‘n’ roll, Page 15 Local bands want to make you dance
Piggy power on the block, Page 16 Valentine’s performing porcines run to win
ROCKING THE BLOCK Third annual downtown party returns 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday in North Bend
10 • July 20, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Finding the groove
Block Par t y North Bend
Main drag to close for Block Party North Bend Way will close from 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, July 23, from Bendigo Boulevard to Ballarat Avenue. Side streets will be open to allow traffic to flow. Park Street will be open from Bendigo to North Bend Way East, and Fourth Street, Third Street and Second Street will be open.
July 23, 2011
Sponsors make it all happen
Allison Espiritu/Staff Photo
Art goes live at Block Party alley Real art in the making is just off the beaten path in the Artists’ Alley. “We call it the arts right down our alley,” says Dick Burhans, chairperson of Snoqualmie Valley Arts, and, with his wife Sally, coordinator of the Artists’ Alley attraction of the Block Party. The alley, traditional home to Artists’ Alley since Burhans and other artists attracted a crowd with their painting demonstrations on the corner of North Bend Way and Bendigo Boulevard a few years ago, features live demonstrations of weaving, cross-stitching, pot-throwing, painting, and musical performances, and several artists working in front of their own portraits, painted by Burhans. “All of the artists are from the Valley,” says Burhans. “We cheat a little bit on (jazz singer) Susanna Fuller.... she lives in Issaquah, but probably 90 percent of her time is in our theater.” Other musicians include Danielle Tomlinson, the Snoqualmie Strings, and Valley Idol Jr. winners Tori Rose and Ana Killian. A new addition to the alley this year is a wine garden, which Snoqualmie Valley Arts is running to benefit Valley Center Stage and Boxley’s music program for children. “The whole idea is our arts group makes no money,” said Burhans. “The idea is to show off the arts and do something special for the community.”
The big crowd at the second North Bend Block Party cheer on burger-eating contestants.
North Bend Downtown Block Party hitting its stride in third year When organizer Gina Estep first started North Bend’s Downtown Block Party three years ago, she had to do all the legwork to make sure the nascent festival had plenty of vendors and booths lining the streets. Today, the vendors are looking for her, hoping to get in on the action. “The word is out,” Estep said. “It seems like everybody’s pretty excited about the opportunity to spend a little more than half a day marketing themselves.” Estep, who doubles as the community and economic development director for the city of North Bend, helped start the party in 2001 to celebrate North Bend’s centennial. Now, the community has started another 100-year tradition. Attendance has been strong, and feedback from the downtown business commu-
nity has been overwhelmingly good. “Each year, we’ve added new elements, and it’s been growing in popularity for both our citizens and the businesses that get involved,” Estep said. “We get more and more interested businesses every year.” Organizers expect about 3,000 people, mostly locals, to attend. The party has become a venue for citizens to meet downtown business owners and explore what their community has to offer. It’s locals getting to know each other, face to face. “When the party is more condensed, the energy is higher. That’s a part of what the Block Party adds,” Estep said. Her idea is to keep costs low for businesses to take part. Entry fees are $25 for non-profits, $50 for North Bend business and $100 for any other business. Estep asks every vendor to come up with an activity to appeal to the crowd. That makes for a very interactive block party.
Sponsors of this year’s block party include U Dirty Dog, Miche Bags, Scott’s Dairy Freeze, Party Hoppers /Rhonda Oord, the City of North Bend, the North Bend Festival Committee.
Get your game on at real big screen Gamers can get larger than life at the North Bend Theatre Saturday. Theater staff will have gaming consoles set up to project video games onto the big screen throughout the day during North Bend’s Block Party. People can play the games for free. To ensure that everyone who wants to can play, staff will vary the games and limit players’ time if needed. The North Bend Theatre is at 125 North Bend Blvd.
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Block Par t y North Bend
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Allison Espiritu/Staff Photo
Competitive eaters chow down at the Block Party Burger Eating Contest, which returns at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 23.
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but don’t look for them this year. The team that won last year decided they did their part, and didn’t sign up again, said Twede. “Once you win it, you don’t need to win it again.”
finishes first, there are bragging rights, “and there’s a nice little piggy trophy at the end,” Twede says. Competitors in past years have ranged from serious eaters to families of four,
The contest is expected to start around 6 p.m. at the Community Stage. To enter, call Twede’s Cafe, (425) 831-5511, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
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They’ve tempted you at area farmers markets, and maybe you resisted the urge to buy one, but there’s no denying the appeal of the George’s Bakery giant doughnut. “Kids come in, look around, and say ‘I want that!’” says Kathie Stokesberry, co-owner of George’s Bakery. They can have it, if they sign up for the doughnut eating contest set for 3:15 p.m. Saturday. The contest, in its third year, settles the question of which 11 to 14 year-olds can gobble up a giant glazed doughnut the fastest. The doughnuts are equal to “about four or five of the regular size,” Stokesberry said. There’s room for 13 competitors, “a baker’s dozen,” in the event, and it’s free to sign up. Call or visit George’s Bakery in North Bend, 888-0632, 127 West North Bend Way, to register for the contest.
Gut-busting burgers are on the menu for North Bend’s downtown Block Party this Saturday, but someone has to order them—someone really, really hungry. “It’s five pounds of beef, but when it’s all said and done, it’s probably a 10-pound burger,” said Kyle Twede, who is organizing the third annual burgereating contest for the block party. The contest pits teams of four against each other in a race to devour one giant cheeseburger with lettuce and mayo, freshly made at Twede’s Cafe. “We give them a bottle of ketchup and mustard, if they need it, to get it down, too,” said Twede. First, though, he needs six teams to sign up for the event, which has generated a lot of interest, but so far, no registrations. It’s free to enter, and for the team that
July 23, 2011
IGNITE Dance students will share performances they’ve honed at recent competitions at the North Bend Block Party. From tap and jazz to hip hop and lyrical dance, top students and instructors will put on a show at 4:05 p.m. on the main stage. Spectators “will be blown away by the teachers’ dance, just because of the teachers’ ability,” said instructor and studio leader Katie Black. The moves show young people what hard work and dedication can accomplish. “They’re working toward this bigger picture,” Black said. Among youth dancers at the party will be 12-year-old Snoqualmie resident Jonah Duvall, whose moves at a Mariners baseball game won him some serious Web video attention. First learning moves from Mexican street dancers, Duvall is now fine-tuning his skills with ballet and tap classes. “He’s come so far,” Black said. He is among 14 boys enrolled in IGNITE classes. Dance is “not a girls’ thing any more,” Black said. “It’s a cool thing.”
Bustin’ a gut
Snoqualmie Valley Record • July 20, 2011 • 11
Fiery dance moves at block party
Valid(425) thru 08/31/11 (Cascade Golfer Magazine was based on a readership of 120,000 people) PERFECT LOCATION 365 days Restaurant 888-2150 thru 08/31/11 GRASS TEE” Range “HUGE GRASS TEE”“HUGE Range Valid
12 • July 20, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Pumping you up
Block Par t y North Bend
July 23, 2011
Alpine Fitness’ Almost Strongest Man contest returns to Downtown Block Party
Skate contest serves a higher calling In the hands of Boarders for Christ, the skateboard is more than just a toy or a vehicle. It becomes a tool for ministry. The 14-year-old organization formed to help people draw closer to God through board sports like skateboarding and snowboarding. It relies on demo and contests just like the Half Pipe and Trick Contest talking place Saturday afternoon, July 23, in front of North Bend Bar and Grill, for its work. According to the Boarders for Christ’s website, when boarders use their gifts to share faith with others, that’s their gift to God. You can learn more about Boarders for Christ at http:// www.boardersforchrist.com.
Allison Espiritu/Staff Photo
Competitors hustle during the strength competition’s stone carry.
Be tough Alpine Fitness Gym LLC offers participants tips in the Almost Strongest Man competition to be well prepared to demonstrate their fitness and strength: • Dress right and dress for the weather. Wear gloves to protect your hands and a weight lifting belt if you need to keep your back warm. • Drink water. Even if it’s cloudy, hydration is imperative for peak performance. • Eat right the week before. Your body performs better when it is well nourished. • Practice, practice, and then do more practice. Know the events and what weights you can handle safely. Partners need to know each others’ weights and limits on each event. • While the fastest time is the winner, this year, judges will also be calculating weight moved.
HAVE FUN AT THE NORTH BEND BLOCK PARTY!
Have Fun at the
Glenn Derwin’s been busy making trips to Tiger Mountain, bringing a friend’s big collection of heavy, clunky competition gear to North Bend. Today’s trip brings in a few huge tractor tires, which join the heavy blocks of stone, steel dumbbells and 400-pound sled that Derwin will use to challenge the Valley’s strongest. Derwin, owner of Alpine Fitness in North Bend, hosts the Almost Strongest Man contest Saturday, July 23, next to Boxley’s Place. It’s the third year for the contest, which has been part of the North Bend Block Party since year one. “Each year, we add something else,” Derwin said. This year, he’s adding an anchor-chain drag. Each length is 50 pounds. Put enough of those links together, and like a ship, you’d be hard pressed to drag it anywhere. The challenges aren’t just about lifting and hauling. Teams of two have to be able to conserve their energy, and the day is as much about stamina as it is about brute strength. “You’re supposed to work together,” Derwin said. It’s not about how strong you are when you’re fresh, he said—it’s about how strong you are when you’re tired. The team who moves through all the pumping, dragging and rolling the fastest gets bragging rights. Giveaways include free stuff from local businesses. Events include the farmer’s walk, in which lifters carry heavy metal pipes, the atlas stone carry, where contestants muscle a heavy concrete ball on their shoulders, or the wheelbarrow event, in which contestants have to haul big weights—or a team member. Many of the contestants are bodybuilders and competitive lifters. Derwin tries to make the challenges tough but not impossible, and also fun. “I’m looking for everybody to succeed,” he said. “Everybody who is doing it has done some training. I make sure I test everybody before they do it... I want everybody to be fit and competitive.” Into fitness for the last 45 years, Derwin doesn’t care who wins, as long as everybody gives a good effort. “It’s a chance to prove your worth,” he said. To take part in the Almost Strongest Man Contest, register ahead of time at Alpine Fitness, 140 East North Bend Way, North Bend. Or, call the gym at (425) 888-0046.
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Snoqualmie Valley Record • July 20, 2011 • 13
Rocking the Block BLOCK PAR T Y SCHEDULE The North Bend Downtown Block Party returns at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, July 23, with dozens of street events and vendors, and plenty to see, do and taste. Catch live music, dancing and contests on two street stages.
MAIN STAGE Main Avenue and North Bend Way
• 1:00 p.m. - Jessica Oliver • 1:45 p.m. - Cascade Dance Academy • 2:30 p.m. - Down the Road (bluegrass and country) • 3:30 p.m. - Kelly Eisenhour and the Danny Kolke Trio (jazz) • 4:05 p.m. - Ignite Dance team • 4:15 p.m. - Paul Green (blues) • 5:00 p.m. - BC Blues Band (rhythm and blues) • 5:45 p.m. - Ricky Venture Revue (rock and roll) • 6:45 p.m. - Dorian Blu (rock) • 8-10 p.m. - Shelly and the Curves (dance rock)
Bendigo Boulevard and North Bend Way
• 1:30 p.m. - Valentine’s Performing Pigs • 3:15 p.m. - George’s Bakery Donut Eating Contest • 4:00 p.m. - Sno Valley Idol Junior performance • 5:00 p.m. - U Dirty Dog Creative Costumes contest • 6:00 p.m. - Twede’s Cafe Hamburger Eating Contest • 6:45 p.m. - Evin Bask, acoustic indie rock and alternative music
ARTISTS’ ALLEY and WINE GARDEN Behind Bank of America
• Jeff Griswold, custom potter • Richard Buchmiller, nationally recognized award-winning counted-cross stitcher • Kira Clark, spinner • Carole Hill, knitter • Live painting and sketching by members of the Mount Si Art Guild * When not performing solo, Susanna Fuller sings with the Cascade Jazz Quartet
• Alpine Fitness strongman contest on Main Avenue • Party Pony rides • Chaplins Chevrolet remote control racing • Boarders for Christ half pipe and trick contest by North Bend Bar and Grill • Si View Hoop Shoot • Mini-Mountain climbing wall • Children’s bouncy house • Pet Place Market Doggie Pizza Party • Putt-putt golf
14 • July 20, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Dogs get Block Par t y their day in block party
Cathie Linden is expecting at least one Lady Gaga at this weekend’s festivities, and hoping for a Justin Bieber, too. “This year, I’ve asked people to get creative with their costumes,” she said, “so I asked a friend to bring her dog as Lady Gaga.” But dogs dressed up as pop stars are only part of the full day that Linden, owner of U Dirty Dog, is planning for dogs and their owners who come to the North Bend downtown Block Party. There will also be grooming demonstrations give-aways, and the much anticipated doggie olympics, with events like bobbing for hot dogs, and the loudest “speak.” Last year’s loudest will be back this year, too, she says. “It’s a basset hound. He just jumps up on his owner’s shoulder and howls. He’s so loud!” Linden got the idea for the olympics from a friend, who runs the games as part of an annual reunion of her foster
Ready, Set, Banana Boogie Kids of all ages are invited to come play with their food at the children’s area of the North Bend Block Party Saturday, where the Banana Boogie is back for its third year. The event is an exercise in creativity, and a lot of fun, says Boogie coordinator Cindy Walker. “It’s something that clearly doesn’t happen every day, making your own car with a banana.” From 2 p.m. to about 8 p.m., participants can pay their $2 admission, pick a banana, trick it out with toy wheels, stickers, feathers, pipe cleaners and their own original marker art, then race it down a 16-foot ramp. “Some of the kids are in there completely on their own, and some are with their parents, who are saying ‘put this here, move that,’” said Walker. There is a science to making the fastest banana car, but it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the curve. Walker has seen children build cars curve-up and curve-down. “Some of them work, some of them don’t.” Once the creations are ready to roll, children can run them down the ramp all day, if they want to, “or until they get tired of it,” says Walker. Her business, Emerald City Smoothie, has been sponsoring the Boogie every year of the block party. Walker said she got the idea from a similar concept she saw at Pike’s Place Market, the Zucchini 500. “We thought, gosh it would be really fun to do something like that!” Walker said. Deciding what to make the cars out of was easy. Bananas beat zucchini on price, fun, availability and marketability—just try to imagine a zucchini smoothie. Bananas, Walker said, were “a much better tie-in to our product!” Every Banana Boogie participant will receive a $1 coupon at Emerald City Smoothie, and their very own souvenir banana cars.
dogs. She and staff came up with the game ideas themselves, and “by far the most popular is the peanut-butter lick!” In this game, each dog is given a peanut-butter filled paper cup to clean out. “It’s all about fun,” Linden says, including the gold, silver and bronze pawprint medallions that go to the winners. “The dogs are usually the ones walking around wearing the medals.” The doggie olympics will take place in the grassy area across from the U Dirty Dog booth, from 2 to 4 p.m., and the costume contest will be on the Community Stage at 5 p.m. All of the events are free, but participating dogs must be friendly.
A doggie pizza party is going on all day Saturday at the Pet Place Market’s booth for the North Bend downtown Block Party. Shop owner Brenna Scholtz and staff will be baking up the pizzas in the shop and handing them out by the slice to every hungry dog that stops by. “It’s all human grade food, but it’s made specifically for dogs,” Scholtz said. The pizzas, from True Treats Bakery in Kirkland, are topped with cat- and boneshaped crackers, she added, so “it’s going to be funny.”
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44800 S.E. North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045
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at the North Bend Block Party on July 23rd. Peanut Butter Licking, Bobbing for Hot Dogs, The Loudest Speak and Fantastic Tricks Creative Canine Costume Contest 5:30pm Entry is free, returning champions welcome. Check in starts 1PM at our booth Details at U-DirtyDog.com
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DOGGIE PIZZA PARTY HERE during North Bend Block Party • Self-Service Dog Wash • 15 Different Lines of Cat Food • 18 Different Lines of Dog Food
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Tues - Fri 10am - 7pm Sat 10am - 5pm • Sun 10am - 4pm Your Local Pet’s Place Since April 2007 213 Bendigo Blvd. N. • North Bend
July 23, 2011
Creative costumes win prizes for canines; bobbing nets hot dogs
8th year—Voted Best in the Valley
Snoqualmie Valley Record • July 20, 2011 • 15
Tunes for the town
The opening act on the main stage is North Bend’s own Jessica Oliver. The acoustic, folk and pop performer is a 2007 Mount Si High School graduate. She plays at 1 p.m. You can hear her songs and watch videos online on YouTube. Oliver, who attends Northwest University, has added piano playing to her routine. “I like singing soulful stuff,” such as Adele and Annie Lennox. She has played in a Christian hip-hop outfit and is figuring out how to translate her work to a solo act. She also plays guitar. “I really hope to captivate my audience,” Oliver said. “I let them enjoy what they’re hearing.”
Down the Road Down the Road is a trio of bluegrass and American roots music musicians from North Bend and Snoqualmie. With husband and wife duo Cathi and Gary Davidson on guitars and vocals and John Tubbs on mandolin and vocals, the trio blends signature duet and trio harmony singing, a little yodeling, and clean, tasteful guitarmandolin interplay to add a fresh, honest, straight-ahead voice to the world of old-time country, bluegrass, and folk music. They play at 2:30 p.m. on the main stage.
Kelly Eisenhour Jazz vocalist and North Bend resident Kelly Eisenhour has been a regular headliner at North Bend’s Boxley’s Place since it opened in 2009. She performed in Las Vegas as a professional singer for many years. She has recorded three jazz albums, the latest reaching number 14 on the national radio jazz charts in 2007. She made the move to a full-time faculty position as the choral director at Green River Community College. Her signature group at the college is
Appearing on the main stage at 4:15 p.m., bluesman and harmonica player Paul Green’s professional career began in New Jersey in 1968. He performed with other Jersey musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, and Little Steven Van Zandt. Moving to Oakland in 1975, Paul became a member of the house band at a popular blues spot, Eli’s Mile High Club, performing there weekly and recording two albums. From the Bay area, Green relocated to Chicago where he continued to “cool himself” in the blues. He performed in legendary blues clubs, shared the stage with major names, and came to the Seattle area in 1991. In 2008, he was voted into the Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame. Green leads his own hardhitting Chicago-style electric blues quartet, Straight Shot, and is one-half of the award-win-
Ricky Venture Revue The Ricky Venture Revue, a.k.a. RVR, plays variety dance music with the full Vegas sound and lighting experience. The group serves up danceable hits from the 60s through today, recreating the days of youth with everything from the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. You can listen to RVR songs on YouTube and at 5:45 p.m. at the main stage.
Dorian Blu Issaquah-based band Dorian Blu plays classic and modern rock with an intriguing mix of blues, jazz, hard rock and epic tunes. They traverse from classic rock like The Doors or The Knack to blues and jazzy numbers like Van Morrison, to epic Pink Floyd numbers—think “Shine on, Crazy Diamond.” The band has played at the block party, The Festival at Mount Si and other Eastside venues. They hit the main stage at 6:45 p.m.
Shelly and the Curves Headlining act Shelly and the Curves will get the main stage audience moving at 8 p.m. The group is a cover band that’s all about audience response. “We’re pretty much entertainment,” said bandleader Bob Tomberg. When the band formed, Bob and headliner (and wife) Shelly Tomberg did some serious research to find out what their sound should be. “People have ‘their’ music,” Bob explained—the sounds of their teen and early adult years that form the basis of their musical tastes. “That’s where you identify yourself.” For his generation, that’s the music of the late 1960s and early 1970s. “As your audience gets younger, you have to go up.” For today’s adults, that means the 1990s were their formative musical years. Bob and Shelly researched the top songs of every year between the 60s and 90s, and
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picked their favorites from each year. That means their selection runs the gamut from Alicia Keys to ZZ Top. The song that defines Bob’s era is, for him, The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues.” “I was in college when The Doors came out. It conjures college, drinking beer, having a great time, doing all that you do in college,” he said. Bandmembers are scattered between Kent and North
Seattle. Bob clarifies that the ladies are “The Curves.” The men in the band, well, they’re the band. Their hard rock-to-soul sounds usually get people dancing. If they just politely applaud or ignore the band, “Shelly doesn’t allow that,” Bob said. “She’s really empathetic with the audience. If they’re not having fun, she’s going to find a way to make them have fun.”
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Clockwise from top left, Jessica Oliver, Down the Road and Shelly and the Curves.
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Local music fans need look no further than North Bend Way to find two different stages playing host to a bevy of local bands, singers and dance acts. Regional rock outfits, jazz groups, cover bands and singer-songwriters from the Snoqualmie Valley will appear on the Main Stage, on Main Street across from Cook Real Estate, while local talent also appears on the Community Stage, located on Bendigo Boulevard.
Green River Jazz Voices. “I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love and be a positive influence for students,” she said. “It’s my wish that my performance of fun and lively jazz standards and blues at the block party will add a nice atmosphere to people’s experience,” she said. “I’d love to see people singing along, moving their bodies feeling the groove, and lots of smiling going on as we all enjoy the day.” Eisenhour plays with the Danny Kolke Trio at 3:30 p.m.
Rock around the block in downtown blast
16 • July 20, 2011 • Snoqualmie Valley Record
Block Par t y North Bend
July 23, 2011
Dancers bring Broadway numbers The Cascade Dance Troupe is a performing group of Broadwaybound stars. The girls train at the Cascade Dance Academy in ballet, tap, jazz, voice, and acting. At the North Bend Block Party, they will be performing numbers from Grease, Little Shop of Horrors, and Cabaret, as well as singing ‘Popular’ and ‘For Good’ from Wicked. With so many shimmies, kicks, and spins to such great songs, the audience can count on being entertained.
Si View to host hoop shoot Parents and children alike can test their court skills at the North Bend Block Party with help from Si View Metro Parks. Si View hosts a hoop shoot booth with a basket at both the standard size and a kids’ size. Anyone can come up, take their three shots and try to make a hoop—moms and dads included. There will be prizes for everyone who takes part.
Powerful porkers perform amazing feats at party’s community stage Pigs will fly on Saturday, when Valentine’s Performing Pigs come to the North Bend Block Party. The Community Stage is where Petunia the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig will amaze party-goers by jumping through hoops and other unlikely piggie feats, and she’s not even the star of the show. Nellie, billed as “The World’s Smartest Pig” when she performed on Letterman and Leno, is the finale of the Valentine’s half-hour show, says owner Steve Valentine. Before she appears, Snort will get on stage and do something, maybe skateboarding, maybe tear up the carpet, maybe wander off the stage. “He’s our only boy pig, and he gets into mischief, does his tricks wrong—on purpose, I’m sure,” says Steve. Petunia, affectionately called Petunia Pancake for the maple-syrup scent she was born with, is next, followed by 3-month-old Oinky. “We have a tiny baby one there just to be cute,” Steve said, although Oinky may know a trick or two by then. Superstar Nellie closes out the show with demonstrations of her basketball, soccer, bowling and golf skills, plus many of the tricks that Steve and his wife Priscilla have taught her in the past 12 years. “It still amazes us how they can do that,” says Steve. The Valentines, now a show-biz family, started out as simple pet owners, but the pets were pigs. “My wife always loved pigs,” said Steve. “She had a pig doll when she was 3.” When they could finally afford the increasingly popular Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, they got Nellie, now 12 years old. She would have stayed a simple, 100-pound house pet, too, if she hadn’t been so smart. “She was bored and getting into mischief, so we started training her to do little tricks,” Steve said. Using popcorn as a reward, Priscilla trained Nellie to push a ball with her snout, at first. As
the tricks got more complicated and strenuous— skateboarding, for example—the rewards had to improve, too, and pizza was the clear favorite. Nellie became a performer after the Valentines started taking her to pig shows. Steve said they didn’t know anything about conformation, and Nellie didn’t have the classic pot-bellied pig look, so they didn’t win anything for looks, “but we just excelled in the tricks phase.” Each pig show included a tricks competition, which Nellie usually swept. So the Valentines started on the pig show circuit, at their own expense. Later they decided to do private shows, birthday parties, festivals, and eventually, state fairs. “The further south you go, the more popular the pigs are,” Steve observed. The pigs love to perform, and on show days, they line up at the car, waiting to be dressed in their trademark leis and loaded into their kennels for the trip. At home, though, they’re like any other member of the family, just shorter. “It’s like having 2 year-old children for 15 years!” Steve joked. • Valentine’s Performing Pigs are on the Community Stage, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. After their performance, audience members can meet the pigs and ask questions.
Top, Snort, and above, Petunia, perform their tricks. They will grace the 2011 Block Party.