The world's cutest pig on wheels is rolling into Boca Raton. Chris P. Bacon, Florida's favorite pig with paralysis, is appearing as a special guest at the upcoming Boating and Beach Bash for People with Disabilities.
The Bash is the nation's largest free annual event for people (and a pig!) with physical and/or intellectual challenges. Come March 21, approximately 5,000 attendees will eat lunch, fly kites, go for boat rides and take selfies with Florida's cutest oinker.
"I like meeting all the nice people everywhere I go. The people in South Florida were especially nice to me," Chris P. told his dad, Len Lucero about his attendance at last year's event. "I can't wait to see them again and make new friends while I'm there."
Chris isn't a fan of boat rides, however.
"I don't like the fact that I am surrounded by water. I don't like that I can't see out the window. I don't like getting splashed by the waves. And lastly, I don't like that my grapes roll up and down the boat and it's very hard to catch them. Needless to say, I will NOT be getting on a boat," Chris says.
By land or sea, Chris' presence sends a powerful message: that disabilities don't define anyone, porcine or human. The (not so) little piggie was a big hit at last year's Bash.
The Bash itself was founded in 2008 by Jay H. Van Vechten and members of the City of Boca Raton Advisory Board for People with Disabilities as a fun way to salute people facing life obstacles when it comes to either physical or mental health.
The event features a whole host of activities, games and goodies, including a BBQ lunch. There won't be pulled pork (whew!), but there will be regular and veggie burgers, plus lots of other edibles.
"The chefs from Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club oversee our Bash kitchen operations, assisted by the club's GM and about 45 volunteers. It is quite an operation," says Bash founder Jay H. Van Vechten.
"We also serve Kosher franks. And all rolls are grill toasted, with an option of cheese. We also offer veggie burgers for those who won't eat meat," adds Vechten.
"Rounding out the lunch are individual bags of chips, sugar free lemonade, water, and pudding cups. We anticipate feeding upwards of 5,000 guests, most with special needs."
In addition to quality time with Chris P. and lunch, there'll be boat rides, an all-day concert, kite flying, finger painting, wheelchair yoga, dance classes and more. Professional rehab teams will be overseeing all the activities.
So what does Chris P. have to say to anyone struggling with disabilities or challenges?
"We are special and unique. We have so much love and support surrounding us every day. We are fearless, we are strong, and we will never give up! Oink!"
The event takes place on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Spanish River Park, 3001 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. The event is free and open to the public.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.