EMPORIA, Va. (WRIC) — After 44 years, the Virginia Pork Festival announced it has made the ‘painful decision’ not to return to Emporia in 2018.
“After 44 years, we have reluctantly decided that it is time to say goodbye to the Virginia Pork Festival,” reads a post on the event’s Facebook page. “This has been a very painful decision to make, however, we would like to end this run on a positive note. This festival would never have existed without the support of hometown, Emporia and the Emporia/Greensville Ruritan Club, the County and all law-enforcement.”
The annual event was widely popular statewide and beyond.
“Last, but definitely not least, we will miss our attendees. You guys came from all over. We’ve even had people from Hawaii. We hope that you have enjoyed our hospitality as much as we enjoyed seeing you walk through those gates and there were a lot of you!”
Event organizers made the announcement on social media Wednesday night. As of Thursday afternoon, the post had been shared nearly 1,500 times and received hundreds of comments from heartbroken followers, one of whom commented that they scheduled their yearly family vacation around the event.
The post went on to explain that over the years it had become increasingly difficult to raise enough funds and corral enough volunteers to ‘carry on an event of this magnitude to make it what it deserves to be and should be.’
“Always remember, we came together for a common cause, on a hot June afternoon, once a year, only for a few short hours, to eat pork dishes, drink some cold beverages, dance to some good music and be a part of the Virginia Pork Festival one more time. We did it together, all of us. So we are choosing to go out gracefully as the sun sets once more, on the pond in the middle of the festival grounds. We wave farewell to you and we thank you for the many years of good times and great memories.”