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Contestants pucker up at the ‘Kiss A Pig’ party before the parade

Chairs were not the only thing that lined Manatee Avenue when Saturday night’s DeSoto Parade stepped off. Parade-watching parties bordered the entire route as well.

The most unusual party had to be the one sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club at DesChamps and Gregory insurance Company when guests gathered to find out who had won the dubious honor of kissing a pig.

Adam Buskirk earned the right to pucker up for the porker in the “Kiss a Pig” contest by raising more than $20,000 for the cause. Runners up John Neal and Greg Steube were not disappointed (or off the hook, depending on your point of view) because they also were invited to give the piglet a peck on the snout.

One of Adam’s campaign promises was to have his head shaved if he was victorious so his barber, Dave Brady, showed up to give him a new ’do. Adam’s wife, Emily, was there to watch the haircut, but she had to leave early to get ready for the parade. She is a former DeSoto Queen and was marching with the rest of the past royalty who gathered for a reunion.

Executive director Carl Weeks held the little pig, who stayed remarkably calm during his moment in the spotlight. He might have gotten a bit nervous if he had known that the audience was dining on pulled pork sandwiches, but the menu seemed to suit the human crowd just fine.

Plenty of family members came to watch the fun, including Sheriff Brad and Debbie Steube, Frank and Emily Buskirk and Rebecca Neal.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations as a volunteer or an employee.

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