Five generations of Atlantans have ridden the Pink Pig, from its first days at the downtown Rich’s store in the ’50s to a short-lived home at the Egleston Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, and now to Macy’s at Lenox since 2003.
Every year, a portion of the proceeds made from each Pink Pig ride benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“To date, Macy’s has donated more than $470,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,” said Melissa Goff, Macy’s vice president of media relations and cause marketing.
Children’s Senior Development Officer Denise Barnes said all proceeds go to Your Friend Funding Goals, which is the hospital system’s fundraising group.
Each year, the money is distributed to areas of need within the hospital system. This year’s funds will primarily go to the Sibley Heart Center, along with the Big Apple Clowns, Barnes said.
“The clowns visit with the kids and help them take their minds off things,” Barnes said. “Last year, it was ER departments.”
She said it produces about $1 for each ride, which is continuous especially on nice days.
The ride takes children and adults through a life-size storybook, under a 170-foot, ’50s-themed tent.
“As one of Atlanta’s most cherished traditions, the Macy’s Pink Pig is synonymous with the start of the holiday season,” Goff said. “The Macy’s Pink Pig is simply a rite of passage to kick off the holiday season in Atlanta.”
The original Pink Pig, Priscilla, started out as a monorail along the ceiling of Rich’s. Although Priscilla was retired after her years at the Festival of Trees, according to Barns, she is still on display next to the current version.
Although Goff lives in Miami, she said her family lives in Roswell, and visitors are often relatives and guests from out of town, or Atlanta tourists.
This year, the ride opened Oct. 27 and runs through New Year’s Day.