Chicken Mike for president
In another cheep bid for attention, the city of Fruita has announced that Mike the Headless Chicken is running as a write-in candidate in the November presidential election.
Mike, the world-famous mascot of Fruita, kicked off his campaign with announcements on his Facebook page and website, http://www.miketheheadlesschicken.org, this week.
Despite losing the 2008 election, Mike is optimistic he has a shot this year.
“Why am I running? I’m doing it for Mom and apple pie. Because we need to change the pecking order in Washington. We need to stop electing politicians who keep getting egg on their face,” Mike said, posthumously, in a press release.
As legend has it, Mike was a Wyandotte rooster headed to the chopping block on the Olsen farm in Fruita in 1945. After having his head severed, Mike continued to live for 18 months, in which he was studied by scientists at the University of Utah and shown on a national curiosities tour. He was featured by Life and Time magazines before his untimely death in an Arizona hotel room.
The city of Fruita celebrates the life of Mike during its annual Mike the Headless Chicken festival, which takes place the third weekend of May.
“This year’s festival will include a campaign speech on Mike’s behalf,” said Kelley Griffin, Fruita Community Center fitness and special events coordinator.
Bumper stickers and other campaign materials will be distributed in celebration of the festival’s kickoff May 18.
The festival, which also includes a 5K race, free games and live music, has grown in popularity as Mike’s legend spreads worldwide. People come from all over the country and across Europe just to celebrate, Griffin said.
“Mike has become a tool for getting Fruita out there and people love it,” she said, adding that sales of promotional items on Mike’s website are coming from all over the world.
The presidential campaign is just another way to bring attention to the city of Fruita, which is becoming known for its unconventional attempts at self-promotion.
Most recently, the Fruita City Council rejected an ad campaign using the acronym, WTF for “Welcome To Fruita,” despite its popularity with local residents.
The sticker campaign was started in February by local residents Steve and Denise Hight, who distributed them to downtown businesses.
The campaigned gained national recognition but was rejected by council members who said the acronym didn’t represent the city appropriately.