Headless Chicken Festival begins in Fruita

Almost 70 years ago, a Wyandotte rooster in Fruita amazingly survived a beheading attempt and, although his head was severed, he lived 18 more months as Mike the “Wonder Chicken” in side shows at big cities across the United States.

Folks are gathering once again to celebrate Mike’s legacy at the annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival on Friday and Saturday, May 16–17, in Fruita.

This year’s theme is “Country-Fied Mike.” Wear your cowboy hat or bandana and plan to take a ride on the mechanical bull, unless you’re chicken.

The Mike Store, artisan and food vendors will be open from 4–10 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Fruita Civic Center, 325 E. Aspen Ave.

Along with the festivities on Friday, there will be lots of “fowl play” in the form of free backyard games from 4–8 p.m.

Friday’s live music lineup features Michael Aldridge from 5–6:30 p.m. on the Civic Center stage followed by New Country Rehab from 7:30–10 p.m.

Rise with the roosters on Saturday and head to the Lion’s Club pancake breakfast, from 7–10 a.m. Saturday at the IOOF Hall on the Circle.

You too can run like a chicken with its head cut off at the 5K run/walk Saturday morning. Race day registration is open from 7–8:30 a.m. and the run/walk begins at 9 a.m., starting and finishing at the Civic Center.

A disc golf tournament will go from 8:30–10 a.m. at Snooks Bottom. Come anytime or pre-register.

Free backyard games will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and check out Mike’s May Madness Car Show, presented by Blue Dots Car Club, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday’s live music lineup features Bicycle Annie from noon to 2 p.m. on the Civic Center stage, Slopeside from 4–6 p.m. and The Dead Cowboyz from 7:30–10 p.m. Adults can participate in the Sud’s Brothers wing eating contest at 2:30 p.m. and kids can sign up for the Peep eating contest at 3 p.m.

Go to miketheheadlesschicken.org for information.


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