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Planning is on for Pig Out in the Park with a decidedly local flavor

Jesus Andrade of Piggly’s BBQ adds mesquite charcoal underneath roast beef rotating on a spit during the first day of Pig Out in the Park on Aug. 28 at Riverfront Park. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

The flavor of Pig Out in the Park figures to be local. Due to the novel coronavirus, the odds are national acts will not be playing the usual free concerts at the 41st annual event.

“But we’ll still have great entertainment,” Burke Marketing owner Bill Burke said today. “You’ll see a lot of local talent.”

Provided restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted by the end of summer, Burke has several acts set for Pig Out in the Park Sept. 2-7 in Riverfront Park. However, the names can’t be released since they have yet to officially sign on.

“We have acts from Spokane, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Boise who would like to perform,” Burke said. “Every year there is great demand to play Pig Out.

“Bands start calling me the day after the event ends. There was a band from Coeur d’Alene who called me during Thanksgiving, believe it or not, asking to play the following year.”

For the first time, concerts will be held on the new stage in the U.S. Pavilion, which didn’t officially open until just after Pig Out last year.

Speaking of pigging out, Burke expects 50 vendors at the event.

“You’re not going to want for food at the Pig Out,” Burke said. “The vendors are as anxious as the musicians about the event. They can’t wait since everyone is on the sidelines right now.”

Burke hopes the event goes on as scheduled and lasts for six days downtown.

“We’ll just have to wait and see, like everybody else, about what happens,” Burke said. “The future, even September, is the great unknown. The only thing we do know is that people will have a blast at Pig Out in the Park, like they always do. I just think it will be that much more fun this year since we all can’t wait for an event like this. I’m expecting a lot of people to come out.”