Jolene the pig is celebrated in Elberta


It’s her party and she’ll sleep if she wants to.

She’ll grunt, in fact. Or maybe, she’ll squeal.

It’s not every day that a gal as purdy as Jolene turns two-ish.

On Saturday visitors to Elberta Farmer’s Co-op helped celebrate Jolene, a rescue pig who lives inside the store. Not in a pen, but in the store - trotting alongside customers and happily accepting treats from children. But most of the time, Jolene can be found sleeping soundly behind the front desk.

For Saturday’s soiree, staff members painted her giant piggy toe nails bright pink, in a shade that was far more 80s wave than blush or bashful. A table was set up for visitors to make cards. Some brought gifts.

Elementary school student Quinn Kelley brought Jolene a handful of Smarties candies, the pig’s favorite treat. Others brought cut up veggies and fruits. Local baker Rocky Freitag crafted a bright pink cake shaped like, you guessed it, like a pig. A tiny side confection was crafted with extra carrots especially for Jolene.

“She is the highlight of our lives,” said Deena McMullen, the co-op garden center manager who said she waited until her boss was “too busy to say no” to adopting a pig.

“Next thing he knows, a pig shows up and the rest is history,” McMullen said. “He loves her as much as we do.”

In fact, everyone does. Jolene has been a hit as the star of the store’s latest billboard. Many came in Saturday simply to wish her happy birthday.

Jolene’s party also helped other animals who weren’t quite lucky enough to find a home yet. Visitors guessed the sow’s weight and paid to enter their number in a contest. All the money was donated to the Baldwin County Humane Society.

So how does it feel to turn two? Jolene remained silent for reporters but plucked happily along as party guests took selfies with her crown-topped snout.

It’s good to be the pig of the party.