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Hoghead returns for 25th year

Twenty-five years ago, the Lions Club in Proctor formed a celebration to gather the community together and honor an industry that helped build the city. The celebration is called the Hoghead Festival, and this year is the festival's silver annive...

Twenty-five years ago, the Lions Club in Proctor formed a celebration to gather the community together and honor an industry that helped build the city. The celebration is called the Hoghead Festival, and this year is the festival's silver anniversary.
The industry attributed to Proctor's growth is the DM&IR railroad, said Lynnette Markkula, chair of the Hoghead applications.
"Proctor was pretty much built because of the railroad," Markkula said. "I think (Hoghead) is important for the city of Proctor, because Procter has that railroad history, so this festival is to thank the railroad, basically."
The unusual name of the festival, Hoghead, was Proctor's way of being unique during a time when there were many railroad celebrations, said Jake Benson, president of the Lions Club.
A hoghead is an affectionate name people called locomotive engineers, Benson said. The front of a steam locomotive looks like a pig's snout, and engineers always rode at the front of the train.
The festival features crafters and food vendors, a parade, a carnival, a car show and more. A few new events are thrown in every year to keep the festival fresh, Benson said.
Last year, an outdoor dinner theater was staged and sold out every night. This year, a pet parade will be held in conjunction with the car show. Markkula said kids can carry their pet gold fish or their dog.
This year also will be the first time for the car show, since it was rained out last year. And for the second year the backyard barbecue contest -- for both professionals and amateurs -- will be held.
A carnival was at the center of the festival at its inception, but this year the carnival will return for the first time in decades, Benson said.
The fireworks are expected to be the best and biggest Proctor has seen. Benson said people have been donating money for the fireworks because it's the festival's 25th anniversary.
Another favorite event is the parade. Every year a grand marshal is chosen as well as an honored rail (a specific person who has served a distinguished career on the railroad). Eighty to 90 units are expected to participate.
Benson said Hoghead is a popular event for the community, because it's a time for family, friends and alumni.
"You can tell that it's a highlight of the summer by the number of class reunions that occur during Hoghead weekend," Benson said. "They know when they walk down the street they will run into an old acquaintance."
To help pay for the festival's expenses, the Lions Club sells Hoghead buttons every year. In 1975 the buttons cost $1. One-quarter of a century later they still cost $1.
Benson said rather than striving to make the festival bigger every year, the Lions Club and volunteers strive to make it better for the community.
"We're proud of the role we play," Benson said of the Lions Club. "We put on an extremely good festival. It's very family oriented."
News to use
Hoghead Activities
Tuesday
*Car wash, 4 p.m., Black Woods parking lot
Wednesday
*Classic Car Show, Moose Lodge Parking Lot
*Proctor Pet Parade (in conjunction with car show),
beginning at Bethlehem Lutheran Church parking lot and ending at the Moose Lodge Parking lot, 7 p.m. Call
628-0867 or 624-3344 for preregistration, or register
your pet before the parade.
Thursday
*BBQ Ribs Cook-Off Contest at Black Woods Bar and Restaurant, professionals or amateurs are welcome to compete.
Friday
*Ugly Truck contest, 7 p.m., at the Proctor Collision area. Winner will be in the parade
*Carnival, corner of Second and Fifth, Friday and Saturday evening
Saturday
*Pancake breakfast, all you can eat, 7 a.m.,
PACC building.
*Parade, starts at the fairgrounds at noon.
*Golden Spike Treasure Hunt, after the parade
*Fireworks display, approximately 9:45 p.m.
Sunday
*Church services at area churches, 9 a.m.
*Kids games, Sunday morning, Eggerdahl Field

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