Delmarva Chicken Festival organizers and the Town of Snow Hill, Md., welcomed thousands of visitors to the 64th annual Delmarva Chicken Festival June 21-22.
Visitors to Byrd Park were treated to delightful chicken and other treats as well as entertainment, family activities and a chance to learn more about the poultry industry. For poultry farmers, commercial displays provided opportunities to learn about products and services that could benefit their operations.
Because there are no gate receipts admission is free Kemp Wills, festival chairman, said he didn’t have a head count although the projected attendance of 40,000 was probably not far off.
The chicken festival was an affordable family outing allowing youngsters like Liam Greene to hold a baby chick, covered with pale yellow down, in his hands. Free entertainment, games and carnival rides amused young and old alike. Scores of classic cars and trucks lined the shady street leading to Byrd Park.
Chicken from Delmarva’s giant fry pan manned by Snow Hill Lions Club members, and barbecued chicken prepared by Snow Hill Volunteer Firefighters fed the crowd.
On opening day, DPI President Jenny Rhodes welcomed visitors and briefly explained the economic importance of the chicken industry to the local economy. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.,) told the crowd that federal government partners are committed to helping the chicken industry grow. Also participating in the opening ceremonies were Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.,) as well as Maryland and Delaware secretaries of agriculture. Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman welcomed visitors to his historic town.
The family-focused event was open Friday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a diverse schedule of activities for all ages. Admission, parking and live musical entertainment were free. Free shuttle service from marked parking locations transported visitors to and from Byrd Park.
Among the exhibitors were NASA Wallops Flight Facility, University of Maryland Extension Service, Maryland Soybean Board and DPI as well as a number of vendors of goods and services of interest to homeowners and farmers.
The crafts offerings this year were among the most extensive in recent years featuring hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, soap, candles, wood crafts and blown glass pendants.
Live entertainment on the festival’s main stage featured alexandshiloh, The Volunteers, a section of the U.S. Army Field Band, a USO-style band called WW2unes, the acclaimed Honeycombs, Tom Larsen and the Lookin’ for Trouble Band as well as the popular band, The Funsters.<\c> LF20130629S_ Delmarva 2/
Members of the Snow Hill Lions Club used Delmarva’s giant frying pan to fry up some chicken.
Photo Courtesy Delmarva Chicken Festival
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Emily McAllister and Katelyn Wells had their faces painted by Rhonda Hardesty of Fantasy Artz.
Ann Wilmer Photo