Posted: July 1, 2013, 10:20 p.m. EDT
© Marylou Zarbock.
Princess is a former classroom guinea pig who now gets regally spoiled by her new family. (click images to enlarge)
© Marylou Zarbock
The Kiss A Piggy booth raised funds for Orange County Cavy Haven.
Despite dire predictions of possible record-breaking heat, the SoCal Guinea Pig Pignic took place on June 30, 2013, as scheduled. The temperature reached 84 degrees, but it wasn’t enough to be record-breaking. However, another record fell that day. Attendance for the SoCal Guinea Pig Pignic hit an all-time high.
"It was a great event — we met and surpassed our fundraising goal," said Michiko Vartanian, CEO of Orange County Cavy Haven, which organized the event. "But for me, while that is obviously very important, I just had so much fun seeing so many people have such a great time!"
Some highlights of the Pignic include the veterinary talk by Dr. Suzanne Pluskat of Long Beach Animal Hospital, the guinea pig food eating contest and the guinea pig costume contest. And no words can capture the cuteness of the guinea pigs who attended the Pignic. Most came with their owners, but some were Orange County Cavy Haven foster pigs who were there to be seen and possibly meet their future family. This is the third year OCCH has organized a Pignic.
The cuteness factor of the Pignic was boosted further this year with the addition of a guinea pig kissing booth. For a $1 donation, attendees could kiss the on-duty guinea pig, with proceeds benefitting OCCH.
A tasty lunch was available from Strictly Vegan Jamaican Cuisine, with Snopels Bakery there offering items for those with a sweet tooth.
© Marylou Zarbock.
Everyone brought items to shade their guinea pig. This unique children's tent came from Ikea. (click images to enlarge)
© Marylou Zarbock
These costumes were handmade. The boy holds a wizard guinea pig and the girl has a dragon guinea pig.
Everyone who attended with their guinea pig took the heat warnings to heart and brought along items to shade their pets, along with frozen water bottles, sometimes covered with a sock or some other fabric, to provide close-contact cooling. Also in abundance? Plenty of munchies for the guinea pigs, from veggies to hay to bits of fruit, the guinea pigs enjoyed a real Pignic feast.
Did all the munching fill up the guinea pigs by the time of the food-eating contest at 2 p.m.? Not for most. The lettuce offered for the contest disappeared with enthusiastic lip-wiggling.
An hour later, it was time for those who brought costumes to dress their guinea pigs for judging. Costumes ranged from a dragon and wizard to Uncle Sam to ballerinas. The emcee commented that all the costumes were amazing and it was difficult to choose the top three. Audience applause determined the winners were an astronaut, Travelocity gnome and horse, placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Raffle drawings and silent auction items for prizes worth more than $10,000 added to the excitement of the day for people who attended. The vendors also provided a terrific shopping experience, offering almost irresistible guinea pig-specific products.
One of the most important parts of the Pignic occurred as people entered. The entry fee earned a free health-check and grooming for all guinea pigs who attended. That, along with the veterinary talk by Dr. Pluskat, gave guinea pig owners greater insight into their pet’s health.
For more news about the Pignic, visit OCCH's Facebook page.
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