The Roaring Twenties were stifled by COVID-19 last summer, but they will go like gangbusters this weekend, along with food, fun, and music, at the Delta Chicken Festival.
Scheduled July 9-11, the Chicken Festival returns after a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Roaring Twenties, a theme meant to jazz up last year’s festival parade, returns, as well as festival favorites and the signature chicken dinners.
Friday will feature the Nate Parsons basketball tournament at 6 p.m. The Skittlebots, a Toledo band with an ’80s bent, perform from 7:30 to midnight, with a break at dusk to enjoy the festival’s Delta Eagles fireworks extravaganza.
On Saturday, the festivities continue with the Chicken Festival parade at 10:30 a.m. The typically 80-unit parade will start at United Methodist Church, go to Edgewood, southbound on Wood, eastbound on Fernwood, and northbound on Taylor Street, ending at the festival grounds.
The annual 5K Chicken Run sponsored by Dave’s Running Shop starts Saturday at 8 a.m. A soccer tournament will kick off at 2 p.m. The local Lee Warren Band will rock out from 7 p.m. to midnight. Music lovers will be charged $5 both Friday and Saturday.
A non-denominational worship service with a praise band will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. A Dreamers Car Club show will be held at 9 a.m., and a cornhole tournament will start at noon.
Information on registration and fees for team events can be found at www.deltachickenfestival.com.
Other traditional Chicken Festival attractions will include carnival rides; wrist bands will be sold for $15 on Friday and Sunday, and $20 on Saturday to reflect the event’s longer hours. Individual ticket prices have not been determined.
Over the entire weekend Michigan-based Animal Oasis will showcase a camel, goats, and avian display, among other animals. Some events will include a fee.
Of course, there will be chicken, and lots of it. A total of 2,650 $10 chicken dinners – which includes a chicken half, roll, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a cookie – and 1,700 $7 half-chickens will be provided by Bar-B-Que Traveler of Port Clinton. The chicken will be served Friday from 5-8 p.m.; Saturday, from noon-8 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Food vendors will include Zesty Tomato, B&E Lemonade, Mike’s Cheese Curds, Pancho’s Taco Wagon, Gary’s Kettle Corn, funnel cakes, and Snowy Summers. Non-food vendors include Sport Zone, PK Custom Designs, Small Town Treasures, DC Crafts and Collectibles, Mejika Arts, and BHS Novelties.
Sponsors for the parade are North Star Bluescope Steel and Worthington Industries. All festival proceeds go to the Delta Parks and Recreation Department for maintenance and improvements.
Chicken Festival committee member Kayla Miller said deciding the festival was not appropriate during the height of the pandemic was devastating. “We were so disappointed. That was almost the hardest – to break it to the public that we weren’t going to be able to do it (last) year. They were devastated,” she said.
Miller said foregoing the festival was heart-breaking, “but the best thing to do at the time. We did the right thing by not having it. But we were really glad to get back to normal.”
“It’s great to see it back,” Delta Mayor Frank Wilton said of the festival. “I’m ecstatic. We’re go-to people. Everybody who is doing what they’re doing (for the festival) is doing it for the community. It’s nice to see everything come to fruition.”