Rachel the Pig at Pike Place Market. Photo credit: Michael Rhodes, Flickr
Rachel the Pig, who has been at the Market since 1986, is the creation of Northwest sculptor Georgia Gerber, who also sculpted the gorilla and baboon families at Woodland Park Zoo and the Husky Stadium’s dog.
Gerber modeled Rachel after her neighbor’s pet pig, who was a prizewinner at the 1985 Island County Fair.
The bronze pig weighs in at 550 pounds — 200 pounds less than the real Rachel!
Rachel is an amazing fundraiser, collecting coins to benefit a variety of social services provided by the Market Foundation, including a day care and preschool, a senior center, an assisted living center, a food bank and a health care clinic.
Most Market visitors don’t realize that there is a second bronze pig, Billie, who was installed in honor of Rachel’s 25th birthday near the Hillclimb Walk on Western Avenue.
Billie recently moved to a new, more prominent spot on the new MarketFront plaza. Kids can trace Billie’s journey along a trail of bronze footprints, each engraved with the name of a donor who helped make the MarketFront possible.
Between them, the pig “cousins” bring in between $20,000 and $25,000 per year in spare change, which is emptied daily.
Even the foreign coins deposited in the piggy banks are put to good use — as play money at the on-site preschool.
Sometimes Rachel enjoys dressing up at night for special occasions. If you arrive very early in the morning, you might find her wearing Seahawks colors or a New Year’s party hat. Once she even wore a tutu and tiara!