The Delmarva Chicken Festival, a tradition on the Delmarva Peninsula since 1948, will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park located on Rt. 18 near Centreville, Maryland. An estimated 25,000 visitors are expected to join in the two-day celebration of Delmarva’s chicken industry. The 2009 festival marks the event’s first visit to Queen Anne’s County.
The festival will open to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday when poultry-related displays including hatching eggs and baby chicks, an arts and crafts show, carnival, business and agriculture show, and all food concessions get underway. Official opening ceremonies featuring state, local, and poultry industry leaders are set for 11 a.m. on Friday. Invited guests will participate in an antique car parade immediately preceding the opening at 10:30 a.m. Activities will continue until 10 p.m. on Friday evening. Festival grounds will reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday and remain open until 10 p.m. Saturday evening.
Throughout the festival there will be continuous entertainment for all ages. Friday’s line-up will include music by the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition, Meg and Bryan, Flashback, and Three Penny Opera along with the Pride of the Bay Barbershop Quartet, Small Fortune, and the musical versatility of Ray Owen. The children won’t want to miss Snippy Doodles and Tiddles and numerous other kid-focused activities.
Activities will resume on Saturday at 10 a.m. when the carnival, exhibits, farmers’ market and food concessions reopen. Tracy Eldridge will be featured on the children’s entertainment stage, Cascading Carlos will share the basics of juggling, and Chicken Capers, a series of fun-filled competitions including a chicken scratch, spoon race, and egg toss will attract young competitors beginning at 12:30 p.m. The festival’s main stage on Saturday will feature Two for the Show, Hearts of Worship, and The Shoremen. The Jones Boys will take the stage at 4 p.m. followed by a performance by Jack the Penguin. The internationally acclaimed Paul Reed Smith Band will close out the festivities on Saturday evening with a two-hour performance set for 8 p.m.
Other activities on both Friday and Saturday will include a local farmers’ market, a Delmarva tourism barn, farm animal petting barn, antique car and tractor show, model train display, and BB&T’s #33 NASCAR that is driven in NASCAR races by Clint Bowyers. Throughout the festival, Delmarva’s giant 10-foot fry pan will be in operation cooking several tons of mouthwatering fried chicken. The extensive festival menu will also include chicken served in a variety of other tasty ways, French fries, funnel cakes, hand dipped ice cream cones, homemade desserts, and cold Pepsi products.
According to general chairman Robert McCormick and staff chair Faith Elliott-Rossing, “the 60th “diamond” anniversary Delmarva Chicken Festival promises to be a real gem of an event. Local volunteers have worked together for more than a year to organize an exciting event that will spotlight Delmarva’s dynamic poultry industry and historic Queen Anne’s County while providing affordable family entertainment at its best.”
Admission to the festival is free and plenty of parking with free shuttle service to the festival grounds will be available at lots along Rt. 18 and Dulin Clark Road.
The Delmarva Chicken Festival is sponsored annually by Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI), the non-profit trade association for the poultry industry on the Delmarva Peninsula. The 2009 festival will be hosted by Queen Anne’s County, Maryland with support from the following major corporate partners: Mountaire Farms, Inc., BB& T Bank, Centreville National Bank, McCormick & Company, MidAtlantic Propane Gas Association, Perdue Farms Inc., Pepsi Bottling Ventures, and the Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Commission. For additional information, call 800-878-2449 or 410-604-2100 or check online at www.dpichicken.com.