The 10th annual Pig & Punch party will be held this Sunday at Crescent Park to close out Tales of the Cocktail. The event raises money for KIPP New Orleans, the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, and Hogs for the Cause.
Bartender Josh Harris started it with a simple concept in mind—he’d make punch in giant trash cans, roast whole pigs, and people could buy a t-shirt to raise money for a good cause. 10 years later, it hasn’t really strayed from that initial idea.
“The key elements of Pig & Punch have not changed; it’s the same formula that makes it special and keeps it connected,” Harris told Adore. “Over time, more people have attended, which has allowed us to donate more money to the community.”
This year the Bon Vivants, the San Francisco-based hospitality firm that puts on Pig & Punch, is partnered with Hogs for the Cause, and 5 all-star HFTC teams will be providing the food for the event. Local music group d.b.a New Orleans has also partnered with the Bon Vivants to provide a lineup of live music throughout the afternoon. There’s also a new recipe for the punch this year, according to Harris.
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An annual volunteer workday accompanies Pig & Punch. The workday, which took place on Tuesday, deploys over 80 volunteers to one of KIPP’s campuses for school improvements and maintenance. This year, volunteers worked at the Sylvanie Williams College Prep campus, now the site of KIPP Central City Primary. “It was really important to us to use the Pig & Punch platform as a way to bring people in all different parts of the [hospitality] industry and different places around the world together for a selfless day,” said Harris. “We wanted to use the motivation and muscle of our industry to make an impact that money alone cannot buy.”
In total over the past 10 years, volunteers from the Pig & Punch workday have contributed over 10,000 hours serving the KIPP New Orleans schools. The Bon Vivants made reaching 10,000 volunteer hours one of their goals for Pig & Punch this year, as well as reaching $500,000 total raised from Pig & Punch events.
In order to aid in this quest, Edrington—a Scottish liquor brand—has pledged to match part of the funds raised this Sunday. Buying Pig & Punch merchandise constitutes purchasing entry into the event, including all food and drink. Attendees are encouraged to buy a t-shirt or tank top in advance of Sunday, but it’s not required. All the proceeds from the merchandise will be donated to the cause.
Pig & Punch is the perfect ending for Tales of the Cocktail, the annual hospitality and spirits convention held this week. Considered to be one of the most important trade events for the industry, Tales of the Cocktail hosts both private industry events and events open to the public. Pig and Punch brings together the global hospitality industry and the New Orleans community.
“We’ve had such an amazing time getting to meet incredible chefs and their teams from New Orleans over the last decade, and we feel very fortunate to have been so supported by the hospitality and restaurant community here,” Harris said.
Pig & Punch will be held this Sunday (7/21) from 12 pm- 5 pm in Crescent Park (2300 N. Peters St.).