Rebirth of annual event set for May 4

Posted 4/5/19

SILER CITY — Anticipation for the new version of an old festival is growing.

Siler City’s “old” Chicken Festival, which paid homage to the town’s chicken heritage, began in the late …

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Rebirth of annual event set for May 4

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Posted

SILER CITY — Anticipation for the new version of an old festival is growing.

Siler City’s “old” Chicken Festival, which paid homage to the town’s chicken heritage, began in the late 1980’s and ran for more than a decade. Now, with the backing and sponsorship from the town’s newest industry — Mountaire Farms, which will process some 20 million chickens a year at its new plant near downtown ­— the re-born Spring Chicken Festival is set for historic downtown Siler City on May 4.

The festival’s organizer, Siler City’s Parks and Recreation department, is promoting the event, saying it’ll be “a new take on the old festival that began in the late 1980s and that so many remember and have cherished memories of.”

“I hope the spring Chicken Festival will create a positive economic and social impact, increase tourism in the historic district of Downtown Siler City, promote diverse Parks and Recreation programming all while enjoying some delicious chicken,” Siler City Parks and Recreation Director Joseph Keel said.

The event is being funded by Mountaire Farms, which invested more than $170 million to construct its 255,000 square-foot facility. The new plant is anticipated to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Siler City.

There will be more than 110 vendors throughout the festival including art and craft vendors, local merchants and businesses, raffles and giveaways, food vendors and food trucks, bakeries, churches, civic groups, organizations and non-profits. Organizers say food available will include chicken wings, fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, Hispanic food, seafood and more. Many vendors have registered to sell carnival-style treats such as funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, ice cream and more.

All attractions throughout the event will be free and will include a Ferris Wheel, a 28-foot rock wall and inflatable attractions to be located along Second Street. Pirates from the “Pieces of Eight” troupe will be welcoming children aboard a Pirate Ship, and a touch-a-truck event will be included as well. A classic car show will take place along East Raleigh Street, where cars will be showcased throughout the event. Oasis Open Air Market will present a beer garden from noon to 9 p.m. with craft beverages by several breweries and wineries. There will be a DJ located at the beer garden as well as a dunking booth.

A main stage on Raleigh Street will feature live music beginning at 11 a.m., with the Jordan-Matthews Jazz Band, under the direction of J.C. Harper, opening the festival.

The Sand Band, featured in the 2018 Carolina Beach Music Awards in Myrtle Beach, will perform at 1 p.m. Siler City’s own Nu-Blu will close out the festival beginning at 4 p.m.

Also at the Festival, the Siler City Parks and Recreation Department will be raising funds for the Relay For Life of Chatham County. Everyone is encouraged to stop by the dunking booth from 3 - 4 p.m. for a chance to dunk Siler City Town Manager Bryan Thompson.

“We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback and support that we have received from the community and our sponsor Mountaire Farms,” Siler City Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Support Specialist Daniel Spivey said. “It truly excites us to hear people share their memories of the Chicken Festival in previous years and how they look forward to making new memories for generations to come. Our team hopes the Spring Chicken Festival will create a positive economic and social impact, increase tourism in the historic district of Downtown Siler City and promote diverse Parks and Recreation programming all while enjoying delicious chicken. We look forward to a day full of fun of celebrating the poultry industry and its importance in the county’s economy while highlighting everyone and everything that makes Siler City a wonderful place to discover, live, work and play.”

More information about the Spring Chicken Festival can be found at www.silercity.org.

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