|A contestant takes his stand and prepares to catch an egg without it breaking in the egg toss contest during the 2006 Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival. In the background is Jerry Chenault with the Lawrence County Extension Service.
Following the success of the last two festivals, the 3rd annual Alabama Chicken and Egg Festival (AC&EF) promises attendees even more excitement with new poultry-themed activities and first-class entertainment. This year’s festival is set for April 14 & 15 at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Moulton.
A two-day outdoor festival with food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, and arts and crafts fair, the AC&EF is not just your typical festival. Where everything chicken is celebrated, its poultry-related food and entertainment educates consumers on the importance of the poultry industry while providing amusement for all ages. Last year, attendees of the festival had the opportunity to see over 100 chickens representing 25 different varieties.
Several new events have been added to the 2007 festival. One of which is the "Proud To Be A Poultry Farmer" promotion that will allow poultry farmers attending the festival VIP seating in selected areas. This promotion was established to recognize the importance of poultry farmers to the largest industry in the state.
"Riverboat John" Ferguson will be in concert on both days of the festival. "Riverboat John" delights crowds of all ages with his old stories and songs from the past. In the children’s area, the Rowdy Rooster Puppet Show is set to perform on both days.
What makes the AC&EF so appealing for all ages is the crowd involvement in the many contests and games all while educating them on the importance and benefits of the poultry industry. Egg toss, eating contests, Colonial Sanders look-a-like, Egg Drop for Future Engineers, chicken clucking contest and karaoke for big chickens are some of the fun activities lined up the for this year. Other activities include a BBQ cook-off, Little Chick Beauty Walk, and motorcycle chicken run. Admission to the festival is only $2 per person and free for those under 5 years old.
The Egg Drop for Future Engineers tests students’ skills in building the best contraption to catch a falling egg without it breaking. The contest is open for both
middle and high school students and the winning team in both divisions receives $500 each. "The students take the competition very seriously," said Dr. Sampson Gholston, UAH professor and coordinator of the Egg Drop competition. "They do not know exactly what materials they will be working with until they arrive at the festival. Some students will meet and try to form a strategy ahead of time and some just show up the day of the competition and start from there."
New for 2007 is the KFC Colonial Sanders Look-a-Like contest. Contestants will be judged on who best resembles Colonial Sanders with the winner to be chosen by crowd response. The winner that most resembles the Colonial will receive KFC gift certificates for free chicken for one year.
||Participants compete in the 2006 Chicken Wing Eating Contest to see who can eat the most chicken wings in 5 minutes.
Sponsored by Lawrence Medical Center and coordinated by the Lawrence County Extension Service, attendees of all ages can try their hand in tossing an egg from increased distances to see who can toss the egg the farthest and catch it without breaking. The Egg Toss contest is free and registration is at the festival. Winners for each round receive free movie passes.
The hard-boiled egg eating contest, sponsored by NHC Healthcare, is open to all ages to see who can eat the most hard boiled eggs. The 2006 winner ate 26 eggs in 5 minutes. The hard-boiled egg eating contest will be held on both days of the festival and those interested can register at the festival.
The BBQ chicken wing eating contest, sponsored by John’s Bar-B-Que, is another free event to test your eating skills. The 2006 winner ate 42 wings in 5 minutes. The BBQ chicken wing eating contest will also be held on both days of the festival and those interested can register at the festival.
Sponsored by Regions Bank, Karaoke for Big Chickens will see who can carry a tune the best. All ages are welcome to enter. The competition will be held on Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. First place wins $150, second receives $100, and $50 for third place.
Think you can cluck the loudest? Then enter WDRM’s chicken clucking contest. Listeners of WDRM will call in beginning April 2 to qualify for the contest to be held on Saturday, April 14. The festival’s audience will choose the best clucker.
Headlining the KFC Entertainment Stage on Saturday evening will be the Alabama Blues Brothers with the Bunge fireworks show immediately following. Set for Sunday on the KFC Entertainment Stage is a "Southern Gospel Egg-stravaganza" featuring The Alabama Spirituals, a recent GMA Dove Award nominee, and the Palmetto State Quartet.
In addition, festival organizers are also introducing the "Home Grown Stage" for the 2007 Festival. This will be an opportunity for top regional bands to come out and present their talent.
The Alabama Farmers Cooperative Agriculture Photography Contest returns. The competition is divided into four themed categories: agriculture families, crops, life on the farm, and livestock. All entries from the contest will be on display in the Lions Club Building at the Fairgrounds. "This is the best response we have had for the photo contest," said Vicki Morese, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce President. "Over 120 photos were submitted." The deadline was March 15. First place receives $125, with $75 for second place and $50 for third place.
According to Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, agriculture is the number one industry in Alabama. It employs over 476,000 people, which is roughly 21% of the state’s work force. Furthermore, Alabama is the #3 poultry producer in the nation, producing over 1 billion birds a year.
Sponsors already committed for the 2007 festival consist of Wal-Mart, Smith Poultry and Hardware, Alabama State Council on the Arts, American Cancer Society, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association, CBS Bank, International Paper, Bank Independent, RE/MAX Valley Professionals, Regions Bank, Joe Wheeler EMC, Pepsi-Cola, Southern Printing, City of Moulton, Alabama Farmers Co-op, The Citizens Bank, Lawrence Medical Center, KFC, Pilgrim’s Pride, Bunge - Decatur, Alabama, John Carpenter Ford, NHC Healthcare, John’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel, and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
Education Partners are Northwest Shoals Community College, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University Poultry Science Department, and UAH Engineering Department. Media sponsors include WAFF Channel 48, WALW 98.3, Moulton Advertiser, 100.3 The River, WDRM 102.1, and WTAK 106.1.
For general information on the festival and registrations forms for the Egg Drop for Future Engineers, KFC Colonial Sanders Look-a-Like and Karaoke for Big Chickens, visit www.alabamachickenandeggfestival.com
or call the Lawrence Co. Chamber of Commerce at 256-974-1658 or toll free 800-974-1658.