Thursday, May 21, 2009

Internationally famous, Fruita's Chicken Festival lives on

Overall, Fruita's Mike the Headless Chicken Festival went even somewhat better than 2008's event. The Fruita City Parks and Rec Department was pleased with the results, although everything has not been tallied at this time.
Over 400 runners and walkers took part in the 5k run. With lawnmower (tractor) races, chicken wing eating and candy peepers eating contests, potato races, and other fun events for festival attendees, Saturday was a busy and a fun day for everyone.
You may have seen kids" art pieces displayed around the refreshment garden and at the making art booth. Several artists' booths attracted attention with their beautiful works. A great antique car show held the attention of many. Live music changed every hours. The annual chicken dance, food and craft vendors offered something for everyone. The Mike booth provided plenty of items based around the famous chicken. 
The festival actually arose from 'boredom.' and from the wish to have some sort of celebration or activity. Yvonne Piccatte, then special events and human resources person and Karen Leonhart, former Director of Parks and Recreation, followed a humorous suggestion by someone in the City Public Works Department based on the story of the actual headless chicken who belonged to a farmer near Fruita. The tiny festival began with a pet show for kids and of course, information about the "headless chicken." The festival caught on and now you will find a web site just for that festival complete with the history of the chicken. A documentary film has been made and published. It was even entered in a film festival in Sweden as well as in Denver, Colorado several years ago. This is available on DVD.
Remember to register for the run and walk for next year, 2010. You can do this on line at the Headless Chicken web site.
 Each year someone is given the "good egg" award for volunteer work and such. Chris Schnittker of Single Track Bikes was recognized for all his work and help with races and such events for the city.

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