Great-grandmother Helen Lang, 89, of Cordelia coaxes a hog over to her to win the adult division of the Dixon May Fair Hogcalling Contest. (Courtesy of Marilyn Sexton)

Solano County

Cordelia great-grandmother is champion hogcaller

By From page A9 | May 12, 2014

DIXON — Great-grandmother Helen Lang, who has been attending the Dixon May Fair for more than 50 years, won the 2014 Hogcalling Contest “hams down,” officials said.

Lang, 89, coaxed a hog over to her wheelchair with a firm and determined voice and the hog readily obeyed, a press release said.

“My dad used to raise Hampshire pigs,” Lang said in a press release. “And now my great-grandchildren do.”

Emcee Donnie Huffman, president of the Friends of the Dixon May Fair and a former 4-H swine leader, urged contestants to “bring home the bacon” and to get the hogs “hamward bound” and into “four-squeal drive,” fair officials said. Contestants yelled everything from “Soo-eey” to “C’mon, piggy.”

Contestant Mary Jane O’Neill, wearing a red rose in her hat, sang “The Days of Swine and Roses,” but the hog expressed no interest in trotting over to her, fair officials said.

Hogcalling champion Lang, of Cordelia, wasn’t the only one in her family to enter the 12th annual Hogcalling Contest. Three of her great-grandchildren did, too: Christopher Lang, 9, his brother, Gabriel Lang, 3, and their cousin, Xavier Copeland, 11. Christopher and Xavier, both members of the Suisun Valley 4-H Club, raised hogs for the fair. All three boys won awards in the Hogcalling Contest.

Judges scored contestants on originality, creativity, audience appeal and hog response, according to the press release.

Judges were Hendrick Crowell of Fairfield, Mary Harris of Vacaville, “Boss Hog” Nick Stacey of Dixon, and Friends of the Dixon May Fair Secretary JoAnn Giannoni of Dixon. Stacey holds the record for the longest consecutive hogcalling championships at eight years.

Butler Amusements provided carnival tickets to the winning youths. The Dixon May Fair provided four tractor-pull tickets. Giannoni and co-coordinator Kathy Keatley Garvey provided pig-related prizes.

The hogs were provided by Dixon 4-H members Cody and Morgan Meitrott, Amanda Phillips, Hannah Harvey, and Elizabeth and A.J. Granillo. Harvey’s hog was named the 4-H Grand Champion at the fair.

Hogcalling Contest winners:

Adults, 18 and over: Helen Lang of Cordelia, first; Brianna Boyd of Dixon, second; Silvia Forcier of Dixon, third; and Mary Jane O’Neill of Davis, fourth.

Ages 6 through 13: Nathan Schittl, 7, of Vacaville, first; Xavier Copeland, 11, of Fairfield, second; Christopher Lang, 9, of Fairfield, third; and  Morgan Green, 9, of Vallejo, fourth.

Ages 5 and under: Chloe Granillo, 3, of Dixon, first; Garrison Cruz, Dixon, second; Vinny Sicca of Vacaville, third; and Gabriel Lang, 3, of Fairfield.

In the age group, 14 through 17, all who initially signed up “chickened out,” the press release added.

The Dixon May Fair ended its four-day run on Sunday.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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