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Photo TR: Delmarva Chicken Festival

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This weekend the Jaycees embarked on our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Delmarva Chicken Festival! If you've never been to the Chicken Festival is (and most of you probably haven't), it's exactly what it sounds like it would be--a weekend-long celebration of poultry, which is the area's leading industry.


We ran the barbecued chicken concession and had hoped to make about $10,000. The festival rotates to a new town each year, so we only get to do this a couple times every decade or two. We try to make it count! Due to a short rainstorm on Saturday evening that chased a lot of people away, we didn't quite reach our goal, but we still made several thousand dollars for the chapter's charitable activities.


Anyway, now that you have the details, on to the photos!


And finally the last chicken was pulled off the grill! Of course, we had to go back the next day for cleanup... and the grill itself won't be cool enough to dismantle until Tuesday! But all in all, I was happy to participate in the festival... and I was happy when it ended!


My former high school band director ended up on stage with his oldies band as the final act of the festival.


We see you, Mr. Dragon!








Of course, this is the part you really came to see--the ghetto fair! Right after the 6 a.m. shift began on Saturday, I walked over and took a picture of every single ride, so enjoy!


As Big Mike would say, something for my female readers....


...while the other gave tours of its news helicopter! Which one do you think was more popular? (If you chose the children's activities, you were right.)


Both local TV stations were on the scene. One sponsored children's activities, including this photo op...


We felt the need to warn the women on site that Travis was on the loose!


And the local sheriff's office prefers this one. It used to be the county bookmobile, recently upgraded into a mobile command unit. They let us count our money in here at the end of each shift.


Buddy preferred this ride.


Chicken Festival special!


The Maryland agricultural organizations were out in full force.


Exhibits on the grounds included this old-time incubator. Back then, farmers were excited to get coal in their stockings, as that's what kept the chicks warm.


The main attraction here was the really cute chicks!


Of course, some of the breaks were Elissa-friendly....


Break time!


Eric and Tatiana from our Waldorf chapter showed up to help. Tatiana did the chicken dance in front of our booth and helped us drum up business for the last couple hundred dinners.


That's better!


Um, excuse me, but this is NOT a hot dog festival....


Our chicken was rated G for all ages.


Sexiest man alive (or so I'm told). Standing over naked chickens.


Shannon and Lesley were working hard as usual. Actually, Lesley co-chaired the entire festival. Which is a lot harder than just standing around cooking a few thousand barbecue chickens!


Even Maryland Jaycees President Cia stopped by for a bite.


Jeff! Do not strangle Christine!


Double trouble! Our favorite twins from the Towson chapter came down to give us a hand (or four, to be more accurate).


After awhile, I defected to the Lions Club... but only in the name of the apron.


As was our secret sauce!


And our free sunscreen samples were a big hit.


We showed some love for Relay For Life.


Of course, all this cooking takes lots of charcoal--a little over three pallets worth, to be exact. Turns out the forklift driver who delivered our third pallet at Sam's Club was a past chapter member. He wouldn't let us have the charcoal until I recited the Jaycee Creed!


Final step: Save some for yourself!


Tenth step: Deliver piping hot chicken dinners to all those happy people in line!


Ninth step: Ring up the sale.


Eighth step: Add pickles, rolls and potato chips. For the record, Jen handles pickles really well!


Seventh step: Rotate the now-empty front grill to the back to load up more raw chicken.


Sixth step: Throw the cooked chicken into a foil-lined cooler to maintain temperature. The chicken must be sold within two hours of hitting the cooler or else it faces the health department's wrath.


Fifth step: Check the temperature so no one gets sick and calls the health department!


Fourth step: Wait for those bad boys to finish cooking, flipping twice.


Third step: Baste! Coincidentally, Travis is a Master Baster.


Second step: Place 216 raw chicken halves on top of the 38-foot pit.


So how does one cook award-winning chicken? First step: Light the pit.


And why not? After all, we were serving award-winning chicken!


We were in action from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days.


This was my home for the entire festival--the barbecued chicken tent.


Stats for all you frying pan enthusiasts.


The giant frying pan is a staple of the Chicken Festival. The local Lions Club ran it this year.


Just in case you didn't believe me!

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I have to say, "celebration of poultry" is one of my favorite phrases that I've read here.


Hmm, what other fun phrases could be used to describe this event...


Fowl fiesta!

Drumstick debauchery!

Gizzard gathering!


Okay, I'm done.

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^^I think one of the vendors had deep-fried broccoli on a stick. Otherwise, not so much.


Then again, you don't find too many vegetarians around this area. It's very much a place where "Because that's how John Wayne would have wanted it" is a valid way to end an argument.

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Having lived in the chicken capital of the world (Petaluma, CA) for 15 years, I thought I had seen it all. We have a "Butter and Eggs" parade every year to celebrate the importance of chickens in Petaluma. We don't get a chicken cook off festival or anything like this. Apparently, the incubator was invented in this town and that's how Petaluma became such a big name in the poultry business. End of my story about my crappy town which I am glad to be moving out of next month.

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