Delmarva Chicken Festival returns for one-time celebration of industry’s 100th anniversary

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The 2023 Delmarva Chicken Festival include local food trucks, vendors, historical and educational exhibits, children’s activities, and live music.

The ‘Chicken Capers’ contests, which pit teams of employees from Delmarva’s five chicken companies against each other in field day-style games, are returning for the 2023 event. A fireworks show will round out the event at 7 p.m. All five chicken companies – Allen Harim Foods, Amick Farms, Mountaire Farms, Perdue Farms, and Tyson – are presenting sponsors of the 2023 Delmarva Chicken Festival.

Georgetown-based Delmarva Chicken Association, in the years when it was known as Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., organized an annual festival from 1948 (when it was known as the Chicken of Tomorrow Festival) until 2014, when the festival ended as the group focused on issues facing the industry rather than promoting poultry consumption. The festival was held throughout the region, which includes parts of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

The Delmarva Chicken Festival featured parades, chicken cooking contests, and fried chicken prepared in the world’s largest fry pan, 10 feet in diameter. The 2023 festival will pay homage to those traditions, but will focus on local food, live music, and family-friendly attractions. The Greater Salisbury Committee, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Wicomico Farm Bureau are working in partnership with DCA to plan the event.

“As our members started thinking about how to celebrate the chicken community’s 100th birthday, several chicken growers suggested bringing back the Delmarva Chicken Festival for a centennial celebration,” said Zach Evans, DCA’s 2023 board president. “We all recognized the warm welcome the festival would get, and we’re excited to invite everyone on Delmarva, and the many visitors to the region to join us for this year’s festival, in the region where the chicken industry was born.”

“I’ve participated in many Delmarva Chicken Festivals over the years, and I’m thrilled to part of the committee bringing it back one more time this year,” said Mary Lou Brown, a Hurlock, Md. chicken grower. “It’s a great opportunity for me, as a family farmer, to share with the public who the chicken community is and what we provide for Delmarva.”

This year, DCA’s “Growing For 100 Years” campaign celebrates the 100th anniversary of Delmarva’s chicken industry, which began in 1923 with a broiler flock raised by Ocean View, Delaware’s Cecile Steele.

Food truck operators, vendors, or businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities at the Oct. 7 Delmarva Chicken Festival can sign up to receive more information at dcachicken.com, or contact DCA at 302-856-9037 or dca@dcachicken.com.

See photos below from earlier festivals.
Delmarva Chicken Association, founded in 1948, has been the Delmarva chicken industry’s voice focusing on advocacy, education and member relations for 75 years. For more information, visit dcachicken.com.
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