Nationality: American (German heritage)
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/10/19
Primary Language: English
I asked the informant if he had participated in any folk group traditions — something shared by a select group of people connected through a specific shared culture or activity. In this case, the group was a marching band.
Alright so, I was in the drum and bugle corps, called the Madison Scouts, from… in 2015 and 2016. It’s, like, a summer thing so, like, you spend the… you pay like, three thousand dollars to tour the country with a marching band basically. And I did that for five summers, but anyways, in ’15 and ’16 I was in the Madison Scouts and they have a tradition where on the Fourth of July they go to Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and instead of calling it like the Fourth of July or Independence Day or anything they call it Piggly Wiggly Day, because — and this is not, like, all Cedarburg, Wisconsin, this is just the Madison Scouts, like, the people in the Madison Scouts, we call it Piggly Wiggly Day because one of the former members of the Madison Scouts now owns a Piggly Wiggly grocery score in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and he caters, like, our food for an entire day from his grocery store and its like, we get kind of, like, fed, like, shit, throughout most of the summer so like, Fourth of July comes and we get like, catered shit and… it’s Piggly Wiggly Day and it’s a great time. Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
This piece reflects the diversity of the adolescent experience in America. Having grown up in southern California, I had never been to, nor heard of, the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain, while in Cedarburg Wisconsin, it held great significance for my informant and his fellow Madison Scouts. This tradition also shows the ways faceless brands and corporations often become a cherished part of people’s cultural fabric; a grocery chain feast can even replace a national holiday like Independence Day when imbued with meaning and reverence by a group of young Scouts. Piggly Wiggly Day can thus be seen as a prime example of reception theory.