Friday night, Ben Wheeler went “hog wild” to kick off their annual Feral Hog Festival pageant. The event started out at The Forge Bistro in downtown Ben Wheeler, where guests enjoyed live music from the band Swingo Swango while waiting for the hog pageant to begin.

In the courtyard, fires provided warmth for the audience as the cold front swept through East Texas. But that didn’t stop the pageant participants from wearing nothing but tutus and pig snouts on stage as they danced and performed for a chance to win the title of Hog Queen. This event proved the axiom true: these pigs really did wear lipstick.

The Feral Hog Festival, held every fourth weekend in October “to have lots of fun around the pesky critters that infiltrate our area, known as the Wild Hog Capital of Texas” continues today with a parade at 10 a.m. on a route that leads from Womco Trucking to Turkey Creek Country Resort. A cookoff, live music and more are planned to follow through 5 p.m.

Free parking for the event is available throughout town, while paid parking by the chapel will raise money for the Ben Wheeler Fire Department. VIP and handicap parking is also available near the Turkey Creek office, officials said.

For more information on the festival, visit

Digital Multimedia Journalist

Ben Fenton is a digital multimedia journalist that has worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph since 2019. He is from Lindale, Texas and holds a Bachelors in Digital Media and a Masters in Communication.

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