Kick back for fun in the sun with Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita |

Kick back for fun in the sun with Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita

Courtesy Photo
Staff Photo |

Set for this Friday and Saturday (May 17-18), the 15th annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival will honor its legendary survivor with music, games and more! This unique event showcases a well-known Fruita rooster, who lived 18 months without a head in the 1940s.

“Although most of (the rooster’s) head was in a jar, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body,” said. “Since most of a chicken’s reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem, Mike was able to remain quite healthy.”

The chicken was fed through its neck with a dropper and lived an active life to the surprise of many. Mike was additionally studied by scientists and was known to be quite a local attraction.

“Now, Mike’s spirit is celebrated every year at the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival the third week in May,” the event website added.

According to Kelly Griffin, Fruita’s special events supervisor, this year’s festival boasts a beach theme, including a sand volleyball court on East Aspen Street. Previous years showcased other themes. For example, last year’s event was “Mike on a Bike.”

“There will be sand volleyball, and sand castle building for kids” Griffin said. “All our bands are showcasing beach or island music.”

Live music includes King n’ Trio and The Allens on Friday, with Pineapple Crackers, Urban Island, and Kahuna Beach Party Saturday.

“On Saturday, start the day with a pancake breakfast, run a 5K, compete in a bicycle poker ride (to) win a new bike, play disc golf, (and) check out the car show,” a news release said. “ … There will even be a Tiki Bar!”

Plus, there’s a petting zoo and eating contests for kids and adults.

“Just to come to the festival and hang out is free,” Griffin said. “You’ll only pay for food and artisan vendors, the run, and disc golf.”

For more information about Fruita’s Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, visit

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