Friday, May 14, 2010

My favorite excuse for a party

Fruita, Colorado loves a good party. The town square is set up for it, with a permanent stage, a lot for food/drink vendors, and a big, grassy lawn. They host four major festivals each year: Fat Tire Festival (celebrating mountain biking and Fat Tire beer), Dinosaur Days (celebrating the rich fossil territory surrounding Fruita), Fruita Fall Festival (celebrating....uhm, cooler weather), and my personal favorite....

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

No kidding. It's a party for a decapitated chicken. The thing is, Mike survived it. Yeah, really.

You can go read Mike's story (yeah, he has a web site), but here's a synopsis. In 1945, a farmer picked out Mike for dinner. However, his aim was less than true, and the axe took off Mike's head, but left his brain stem. So, Mike hopped off the block and continued to peck for his feed, as though he had a mouth to eat it. "Ah-ha!" said the farmer. "My fortune is made!" He figured out how to feed Mike with an eyedropper to his exposed gullet, and set out on a freakshow tour.

Eighteen months later, in a motel, the farmer misplaced the eyedropper. That night, Mike began to choke, and the farmer had no way of clearing his airway. And Mike died.

But he lived without a head for 18 months. So, now they have a party for him every year.

On the morning news today, I watched the official opening of the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. At 6 AM today, a man in a chicken costume raised the official Festival flag, and everyone started eating chicken wings.

Over the next couple of days, everyone will enjoy food, drink, merchandise vendors (including Mike the Headless Chicken hats, t-shirts, mugs, etc.), the Chicken Dance Contest, Rubber Chicken Football, and live music. All in honor of a chicken who avoided the dinner table 65 years ago.

Like I said, my favorite excuse for a party. If you're looking for me this weekend, you'll find me in Fruita, Colorado. I'm the one in the wine tent, with the chicken hat.

2 comments:

Ronjazz said...

Hell, I've lived without head for, oh, I can't tell you how long...Oh wait...I misread this...damn...

Never mind.

Blogget Jones said...

Oh! Poor Ron!!