Will the pig be replaced with a different mascot?

Foto: County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Green Pig succumbs to split seam.

Photo by Michael Gordon

Sham Hock, a.k.a. Pig O’ My Heart, has hogged the spotlight at County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last time.

The giant inflatable pig, which has delighted parade-goers for nearly three decades, abruptly collapsed upon splitting a seam near the end of this year’s parade. The parade’s organizing committee determined the seam is unrepairable.

“It will need to go to its resting place in Pig Heaven,” said Nan Drake, co-chair of the organizing committee said. “Plans are underway for a proper Irish wake.”

Drake, however, added that plans also are underway to replace the 12-foot high by 20-foot long Sham Hock with a new parade mascot. “It will be a tough job replacing the pig and a fundraiser will have to be held,” she said.

It’s not the first time Sham Hock, which was created for $2,500 in 1990 during the parade’s early years has made news. It was kidnapped a week before the 2015 parade at a Ventura storage facility but was located by some clever detective work. A $100 reward was offered and Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan, who is also a parade committee co-chair, received an anonymous call telling him where Sam Hock could be found. And, luckily, the giant green pig rode in the parade, as usual. The kidnappers were never identified and the reward was never paid.

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