Pig on the Pond Community Festival returns to Waterfront Park Oct. 15-17. The three-day festival, voted one of the most popular in Central Florida, will feature a carnival, barbecue, live music, Kids Zone, racing pigs, games, fireworks and more.

Paul Rountree, president of Project Scholars, the nonprofit event host, said that this year’s festival will include several new crowd-pleasing additions. “We wanted to ensure that it was packed with fun, because we think the community is ready to celebrate,” Rountree said.

Among the new activities:

  • A new, larger carnival rated No. 1 in America.
  • Barbecue contest, back by popular demand.
  • The 1st Annual Junior Grillmasters Competition presented by Publix.
  • Beer garden
  • Expanded Kids Zone presented by Orlando Health.
  • Star Wars characters’ appearance.

Returning to help kick off the event on Oct. 15 is the popular Chili Cook-Off. The new Junior Grillmasters Competition on Oct. 17, presented by Publix, is open to middle-school and high-school students who want to test their grilling skills cooking chicken and steak. Participants get to keep their grill and compete for prizes. Applications and instructions for both competitions can be downloaded at www.pigonthepond.org.

The festival features non-stop entertainment throughout the three-day event, including a variety of musical acts playing everything from country music to pop to classic rock. The event includes festival food, a barbecue row, dozens of vendors with games and activities, a race car, boats, helicopter and more.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Sunday, Oct. 17 is Kids and Seniors Discount Day when children and 65-plus seniors are admitted for $2.

Proceeds from the festival fund four-year college scholarships for four local students each year through Project Scholars. To date, Pig on the Pond has funded more than $400,000 in scholarships benefiting more than 300 students.

More details and competition applications are available at www.pigonthepond.org

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