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The Delmarva Chicken Festival, a long-running and beloved event from 1948 to 2014, will return to Salisbury, Maryland, in 2023 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first dedicated broiler chicken farm in the region.
SALISBURY, Md. — The Delmarva Chicken Festival, a long-running and beloved event from 1948 to 2014, will return in 2023 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first dedicated broiler chicken farm in the region.
The festival will take place Oct. 7 from 1-7 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. It will be free and open to the public.
The announcement was made Monday by Delmarva Chicken Association executive director Holly Porter in a news event at the stadium.
Five chicken companies — Allen Harim, Amick Farms, Mountaire, Perdue Farms and Tyson — are presenting sponsors of this year’s festival.
Attractions will include local food trucks, vendors, historical and educational exhibits, children’s activities and more. Music will be performed through the day by The Jones Boys, Jimmy Charles and Mike Hines & the Look.
The “Chicken Capers” contests, which pit teams of employees from Delmarva’s five chicken companies against each other in field day-style games, are returning. And a fireworks show will round out the event at 7.
The Delmarva Chicken Association, in the years when it was known as the Delmarva Poultry Industry, organized an annual festival from 1948 (then called the Chicken of Tomorrow Festival) until 2014.
Historically, it featured parades, chicken-cooking contests and fried chicken prepared in the world’s largest fry pan, 10 feet in diameter. The 2023 festival will pay homage to those traditions with a modern twist, focusing on local food, live performances and family-friendly attractions.
The Greater Salisbury Committee, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wicomico County Farm Bureau are working in partnership with the association to plan the event.
“As our members started thinking about how to celebrate the chicken community’s 100th birthday, several chicken growers suggested bringing back the Delmarva Chicken Festival for a centennial celebration,” said Zach Evans, DCA’s board president. “We all recognized the warm welcome the festival would get, and we’re excited to invite everyone on Delmarva, and the many visitors to the region, to join us for this year’s festival, in the region where the chicken industry was born.”
Mary Lou Brown, a Hurlock chicken grower, shared her enthusiasm.
“I’ve participated in many Delmarva Chicken Festivals over the years, and I’m thrilled to (be) part of the committee bringing it back one more time this year,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for me, as a family farmer, to share with the public who the chicken community is and what we provide for Delmarva.”
This year, the Delmarva Chicken Association’s “Growing for 100 Years” campaign celebrates the centennial of Delmarva’s chicken industry, which began with a broiler flock raised by Ocean View, Delaware’s Cecile Steele.
Those interested in sponsorship opportunities at the festival can sign up to receive information at dcachicken.com, contact 302-856-9037 or email email@example.com.