Pignic Central: Guinea Pig Gatherings
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Pignic Central is a directory of Pignics around the world.

What is a Pignic? Well, it's pretty much the same thing as a picnic, but add a large assortment of guinea pigs and some enthusiasm, and you have yourself a Pignic! The directory (in progress) is below, or you can visit (and join) Pignic Central on Facebook for updates and information.

Video and Music by Joey Phoenix, www.salempetphoto.com.
For more cute guinea pig photos and videos check out cavymadness and the Wheekly on Facebook!

Help me update this page! If you are a coordinator for a Pignic in your area, please email the following information:

  • Hosting organization (if any)
  • Location
  • Address
  • Usual month/date held (i.e., Boston Pignic is usually held every June/September)
  • Contact/Coordinator
  • Websites/Social links
  • Images, logos, or additional information about the Pignic

Tammy
CavyMadness.com / Pignic Central

 

Choose your Pignic!

Pignics in the United States Pignics in Canada Pignics in Australia Planning a Pignic Pignic Rules and Etiquette Pignic Printable PDFs

Visit Pignic Central on Facebook for info and become a fan!

 

Pignics in the United States

California: Bay Area Pignics

Novato, CA (Marin Humane Society)
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato, CA 94949 (Google Maps)
Usual month/date held: The last Saturday before Labor Day weekend (2016: August 27th)
Contact/Coordinator: Lora Figgat, lora.figgat@gmail.com or bayareapignic@gmail.com
Links: Facebook www.facebook.com/BApignic (events pages are added each year for details)
Additional information: Each year, we have an artist who draws a custom piggy for each year's t-shirt orders. A silent auction is held each year so attendees can bid on having one of their guinea pigs drawn for next year's shirts!

Cupertino, CA
Linda Vista Park, 11000 Linda Vista Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014 (Google Maps)
Usual month/date held: The first Saturday after Labor Day (2016: September 10)
Contact/Coordinator: Lora Figgat, lora.figgat@gmail.com or bayareapignic@gmail.com
Links: Facebook www.facebook.com/BApignic (events pages are added each year for details)
Additional information: Each year, we have an artist who draws a custom piggy for each year's t-shirt orders. A silent auction is held each year so attendees can bid on having one of their guinea pigs drawn for next year's shirts! Also, check out photos from the 2015 Pignic!

 

Massachusetts: Boston Pignic

Wellesley, MA (Wellesley Town Hall Lawn)
525 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482 (Google Maps)
Usual month/date held: Two times per year, usually in early June and Late September
Contact/Coordinator: Sally Hurley (CavyMadness)
Links: Facebook www.facebook.com/PignicCentral (events pages are added each year for details)
Additional information: The Wellesley Town Hall lawn ("the bowl") is located next to the Wellesley Square Commuter T stop and is convenient to shopping and parking. The town of Wellesley is pesticide-free, and does not treat their grass with chemicals.

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Other Pignics for which we have limited information...

CALIFORNIA

SoCal Pignic
Irvine Animal Care Center, 6443 Oak Canyon Rd in Irvine, CA
Contact: Michiko Vartanian at cavyhaven@gmail.com

FLORIDA

Crazy Cavies South Florida Pignic
Elfin Shelter at Tradewinds Park, just west of Florida’s Turnpike on Sample Road.
Contact: crazycavies@hotmail.com; 954-547-3201

GEORGIA

PigStock
Barrington Hall in Roswell, GA (Google Maps)
Schedule:  April or May
Contact: Lisa, Atlanta Metro Guinea Pig Rescue

ILLINOIS

Critter Corral/Chicago area Pignic
Bemis Woods Park, Grove #5, Western Springs, IL 60558
Contact: Rose, info@crittercorral.org or Maegan, maegan@crittercorral.org

Critter Corral Open House
The Willard Wood Park Center, 515 1st Street, Crete, IL 60417

Usually held each November.
Contact: Rose, info@crittercorral.org

MAINE

Animal Refuge Leage Pignic, Westbrook, Maine
Animal Refuge League, 449 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook Maine
contact: Stephanie Umbro

MARYLAND

MGPR PIGstravaganza
Reisterstown Regional Park, 401 Mitchell Drive, Reisterstown, Maryland 21136
contact: Deb Jackson, Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue

MICHIGAN

Warren Pignic
Contact: Drea, liquidhazel@hotmail.com

PENNSYLVANIA

Ohio Valley, PA Pignic
(need new information)

TEXAS

Houston Pignic
Contact: Carla at cmartinez36@houston.rr.com
or Monica at castaway_5@yahoo.com

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Pignics in Canada

Toronto Pignic

Greenwood Park
150 Greenwood Ave, Toronto, ON M4L 2R1, Canada (Google Maps)
Usual month/date held: September
Contact: Olivia Pudney at Torontopignic@gmail.com
Links: Website: www.torontopignic.com
Facebook page: facebook.com/torontopignic
Additional information: Proceeds donated to Toronto Humane Society and Piggles Rescue

 


Pignics in Australia

Pignic in the Park

Australian Cavy Sanctuary
Contact: Jessica, Australian Cavy Sanctuary
Website: Pignic in the Park

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Planning a Pignic

You may be asking yourself:
"How do I actually start a Pignic?"

It only requires a little bit of work at the start -- you must find a gathering place that is easily accessible to everyone, is not frequented by dogs, and is free of chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. Having shade is essential; for many Pignics, people meet near trees. Bathroom facilities should be nearby. State Parks are a great option.

For some parks, you must obtain a permit to meet. This can easily be obtained through the park's governing authority. Generally, these are the people who could tell you if the grass is free of chemicals and generally dog-free as well. Once you have chosen a date and have your permit, all you have to do is get the word out! Some Pignics have planned activities, and others are just a casual picnic gathering. Look at the Pignics featured above for ideas.

Suggest that people bring materials to help set up and expand pens. Popular options are cube-grid squares (make sure squares are small, not large); other options include wire shelving and a roll-up plastic chicken-wire option. With every pen set up, you'll need fasteners: twist ties, binder clips, and cable ties are all good options. If you choose to have a communal Pignic (many piggies in pens), set up a girls' pen, a boys' pen, and a couple "time out" pens for pigs that don't get along well with others. Large pens should generally be long and narrow, so people don't have to step inside to reach a pig.

Have a small team of "Pig Experts" who can help newcomers to your Pignic. This team should be knowledgable, and should check ALL piggies going into communal pens for lice, respiratory distress, or anything that can be transferred to the other pigs.( At the Boston Pignic, we've have lime green t-shirts for the PIG PATROLteam, who make sure that everything runs smoothly.)

Boston Pignic planners help keep the Pignic running smoothly.
Boston Pignic planners and the event team ensure that the Boston Pignic runs smoothly, from check-in to breakdown. Knowlegeable people can help answer questions, provide nail trims, and guide newcomers to interact with seasoned pig-people.

 

Another essential item is "wet" veggies and fruits, like cucumber and melon, that will help prevent the piggies from becoming too dehyrated in the sun. Make sure your spot has some shade and/or dappled sunlight, for both people and pigs.

Once everyone arrives at your Pignic, it is a great idea to get a general consensus of how often you would want to meet, and whether the location you chose is ideal. Then, just plan on returning to that spot the next time! The New England Pignic, the original, ran from 1996 to around 2003 in Westfield, Massachusetts. The location was chosen to accommodate people coming from upstate New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Many people will drive a couple of hours to spend a day with fellow piggy fanatics. :)

 

Pignic Printable PDFs

Helpful forms for you to download and print.

Pignic Rules and Etiquette (PDF)
This is a helpful overview for general rules and etiquette that can apply to any Pignic. It is based on the Boston Pignic, but if you are new to Pignics, or planning a Pignic, download and print a copy to become acquainted with how to keep pigs and people safe and happy during a Pignic. (last updated: 2011.)

Sign-in Sheet (PDF)
For planners who would like to collect attendee information at check-in, this form will allow you to track people and pigs, and even gather email addresses for follow-up messages! (when an item is left behind at a Pignic, for instance...)

More printouts are coming soon.

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Pignic Rules and Etiquette

When attending a Pignic, be mindful of Rules and Etiquette.

Before you attend the Pignic, check your piggies for lice or any disease. If your pig shows signs of lice, please do not take him or her to a Pignic. If you are unsure about checking for lice, have the Pignic Coordinator check your pig upon arrival - and of course, if your pig is contagious at ALL, keep him or her in a separate pen!

Boston Pignic planners help keep the Pignic running smoothly.
Pignic planners generally will check in guinea pigs upon arrival to the Pignic, to ensure that there are no signs of illness or lice/mites. Individual Pignics may vary, so be sure to read and understand the check-in procedures for your local Pignic. Here, Sally (Boston Pignic) inspects teeth and nails as part of this pig's check-in.

 

Watch your pigs. Some people assume that their guinea pigs are just fine in a communal pen, and will go off to chat or play with other people. Meanwhile, some unsupervised pigs end up creating trouble, and it's up to strangers to figure out what to do and to whom that pig belongs. Be a responsible pig-parent and keep an eye on your own pigs.

Pens are for pigs, not people. Please stay out of the pens. People stepping into the pens pose a huge risk of injury to the pigs. You should be able to reach into the pens to retrieve guinea pigs if needed. We've indicated which pens are for girls and boys, so please double-check which pen your pigs should be in!

Keep chairs and stuff a few feet away from the pens. The less clutter around the pens, the less likely an accident will happen. And on that thought....

If you are next to the pens: kneel or sit. Keeping low while next to the pens allows everyone to have a clear view, and minimizes the risk of tripping over the walls of the pens.

Boston Pignic attendees sit, rather than stand, around the community pens.
Sitting close together allows Pignic attendees to share stories and information, and provides a safer experience for both people and pigs. Children, and those new to guinea pigs, should always be supervised.

 

Pigs do not always play well with others. Observe your pig(s) throughout the Pignic. Aggressive piggies should be kept separate from the main pens. Please alert people to mounting or aggressive behavior.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. There is a wealth of knowledge at the Pignic. Chat with someone new, and have fun!

Handle piggies with care. First, ASK before you pick up another person's pig. If you are a novice, have someone show you how to pick up a pig. Guinea pigs have different personalities and can bite if they are handled incorrectly. Even worse, startled pigs can (and many do!) jump out of laps. Teach your children to ask before picking up, and make sure they know how to safely handle a guinea pig.

While handling pigs: keep these tips in mind:
Use towels to pick up and hold unfamiliar pigs. Using a towel to pick up and wrap them up will give you a better handle on the pig, and give the pig a little more security. Sometimes sounds (like car horns, a train, and any sudden noises) will startle pigs, causing them to either bolt or hunker down in your lap.

Do not hold a boar next to the sows' pen, or vice versa. The scent of the opposite sex can cause stress, or worse: fighting!

Finally, keep handling to a minimum. Children can get excited about holding pigs, and often try to pick up many pigs during a Pignic. Try to be gentle, calm, and aware that Pignics are for relaxation - for piggies and people alike!

Look for Pig Patrol / Staff / knowlegeable people for help.

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