Pigtoberfest is an ode to both Troy Hill’s history and its artistic inclinations.

Photo: Troy Hill Citizens Chairman Patrick Duffey at the annual Pigtoberfest, a combined community celebration of history and art by David S. Rotenstein

By David S. Rotenstein

Troy Hill Citizens hosted the second annual Pigtoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 12. The community festival in Troy Hill Citizens Park attracted about 50 people.

“The idea came from, if you know anything about Troy Hill history and Herrs Island down there, how they kind of drove pigs up Rialto Street and over into Spring Garden,” said Troy Hill Citizens Chairman Patrick Duffey. Pigs were transported from rail stations to stockyards formerly housed on Herrs Island, which is now known as Washington’s Landing, and herded up the hill—now Rialto Street—to be slaughtered at meat packing plants in Spring Garden.

Pigtoberfest featured barbecue and side dishes catered by M.R. Pigs Barbeque. There was pumpkin carving and other games for children. R&R Jazz played on the park’s stage and neighbors bought raffle tickets to support the nonprofit organization’s programs.

“It’s just kind of a community festival where we get some neighbors to do a big pig roast,” explained Duffey. “We do everything donation-based, so if you can donate some money, great. If you can’t, you can still get all the food you want. Just a nice little quaint community festival.”

This year’s Pigtoberfest coincided with the Steps We Take neighborhood tour and art installation sponsored by Bike Pittsburgh (BikePGH) and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Office of Public Art (OPA). The steps program included an app with audio segments which were triggered to play as participants approached various places throughout the neighborhood.

The steps along Rialto Street, long known as “Pig Hill” by area residents for its livestock drives, had speakers and lights installed. The speakers played clips of interviews with Troy Hill residents and lighting strips punctuated the walk up and down the steps.