Smyrna, Del.aware watches Run-A-Muc run its course

By A. Kristi Moffett, Special to the State News

SMYRNA - The annual - and final - Ruc-a-Muc took place in Smyrna Saturday afternoon, in an effort to raise money for the Smyrna Library, local Little League and Little Lass organizations.

The Ruc-a-Muc, started in 1988 by Tully's Pub in Smyrna, featured a parade, local vendors and six pig races. Among those present were Miss Ruc-a-Muc 1998, Jaime Collins; Delaware State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner; and grand marshal of the Ruc-a-Muc, Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner.

According to Char Ryan, co-organizer with Nancy Vodvanka of the Ruc-a-Muc, "The whole event began as a fun, one-time thing 10 years ago. We held pig races on the sidewalk out front of Tully's and by the following year everyone wanted to be a part of it. It grew into what it is today."

The Ruc-a-Muc event began with a parade featuring vintage cars, local Smyrna and Clayton fire brigades, past and present Miss Ruc-a-Muc title holders and several individually decorated entries celebrating the glory of swine.

In addition to the pig races, a $15 dinner serving roasted pig was also part of the event.

However, the Smyrna Ruc-a-Muc is not simply all about good food and fun. Terri Collins, publicity chairwoman and owner of race-pig entry, Old Lang Swine, said that what is most important about the event is the children.

"We given a lot of little kids a lot of fun here today," Ms. Collins said. "Some of these children aren't lucky enough to go to the beach or to the mountains during the weekend. And today, the smiles on their faces show us that this was all worth the effort."

The Smyrna Ruc-a-Muc has also assisted children in the community, raising over $30,000 since its conception in 1988.

According to Karen Gebhart, president of the Ruc-a-Muc event, "Today, we've raised well over $3,000, without adding the money collected from the dinner. That will be counted later.

"For one little idea on a Saturday afternoon," she said. "This sure did turn out to be good for the children."

1998 marks the end of this small-town tradition. However, as far as the crowd is concerned, the Ruc-a-Muc is an event to be remembered.

"They were my first pig races," says Christine Marshall, 7. "I didn't have any favorites, but I really liked them."

Lt. Gov. Minner said, "I've enjoyed the Ruc-a-Muc very much and have never seen pig races before. It was definitely a memorable event."

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