Fruita hosts 17th annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival |

Fruita hosts 17th annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

Brittany Markert
A peep and wing eating contest is planned for Saturday, May 16, from 12:30-2 p.m. at Civic Center Park in Fruita.
Submitted photo |


WHAT: Mike the Headless Chicken Festival

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, May 15-16

WHERE: Civic Center Park, 324 Aspen Ave., Fruita

COST: Free to attend


High Desert Feather Fanciers — the newest chicken club in the area — will host its first poultry show on Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, during the 17th annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival.

“We’re thrilled that Mike the Headless Chicken Festival agreed to host the show for us,” said Linda Lynch, poultry show organizer.

The show is set for Fruita’s Civic Center, located at 324 E. Aspen Ave. It is free to view the birds. It will run from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, May 15, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 16.

“You can bet all these chickens will be headed,” said Ture Nycum, Fruita’s parks and recreation director.

According to Lynch, the show will be similar to a dog show. Birds are judged by breed, then class and then there will be a best-of-show award. More than 100 chickens of 30 different varieties will be shown by adults, and children will compete in their own categories as well as a chicken obstacle course and costume contest.

Informational booths will also be set up, educating about show birds, youth involvement, chicken care and more.

Breeders may sell chickens, too.

“We will have a lot of information going around,” Lynch said. “Plan on looking at many birds.”

Chicken poop bingo is additionally planned for Civic Center Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Entries cost $1 for two squares. Every half hour, depending on where the droppings land, will determine a winner.

High Desert Feather Fanciers membership costs $20 and includes meetings, information on show birds and exhibition shows. Lynch hopes to make the event annual with increasing membership and entries.


The poultry show is just one of many events held Friday and Saturday, May 15-16, in Fruita.

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is based on a chicken that lost its head in 1945, and continued to live for 18 months. After gaining widespread fame, Mike has been celebrated in Fruita for nearly two decades.

“I encourage folks to come out and celebrate Mike’s will to live,” Nycum said.

Most events are held at Civic Center Park, located at the 300 block of Aspen Avenue in Fruita. Many activities are free and open to all ages.

The festival will kick off on Friday, May 15, with music from Bicycle Annie on Friday, at 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park and Boogie Machine at 7:30 p.m.

Festival goers can also test out a hover board from 5-8 p.m. near Civic Center Park.

Starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, Lion’s Club will host its pancake breakfast at Circle Park. A car show, artisan and food vendors, backyard games and more are planned for downtown Fruita as well. A 5K run will start at 7 a.m., too. It’s $20 to register. A disc-golf tournament will then start around 8:30 a.m. Participants can register for $15 day of or $40 for a group of four. The tournament is set for Fruita’s Riverfront Park course, located at near Kingsview Road off of Highway 340, heading towards Colorado National Monument.

A peep and wing eating contest will also take place from 12:30-2 p.m. The chicken dance will take place at 2 p.m. A rooster calling contest will start at 3 p.m. Michael Aldridge will perform at 4 p.m. and The Nacho Men will follow at 7:30 p.m. The poultry show awards will take place at 6 p.m.

To play along with the event’s Back to the Future theme, Allen’s Unique Autos will bring down its Delorean for folks to check out.

To see the full schedule, visit To learn more about High Desert Feather Fanciers, find them on Facebook.

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