For a fabulous musical slide show of the chicken parade, please visit this site and click on Slideshow on the right.
Who would drive 75 miles on a Saturday morning to go to a chicken parade?
Domesticus would, and did. And is pleased to report that the good people in the tiny hamlet of Edison, WA (population 149) and their fine-feathered friends made it well worth the trip.
Even though we missed the actual event—but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
We thought it would be a race, but it didn’t really work out that way, chickens being what they are. It was called the “Keep Your Chicken In Line” parade, with few rules and no prizes.
Still, Sydney Hedington, holding Mr. Fluffy, had the pre-event jitters. “I found out it’s for hens only,” said the wide-eyed 8-year old.
“Tell them it’s a family rooster,” advised her 10-year-old sister Hannah, holding Mrs. Fluff.
“Let’s get going, girls, or we’re going to miss it,” said their dad Phil. Phil used to work in construction but now he works for a big a farm that grows corn and wheat. He has 30 chickens at home. He was cradling tiny, quivering Tye-Dye, a serama breed that he said is “the smallest chicken in the world.”
Some people like the Hedingtons carried their birds in the race-cum-parade, and others leashed them or pulled them in wagons domed with chicken wire. Some decided to let their chickens run free, and they promptly raced away from all the commotion at warp speed. After the parade their owners were still chasing after them with nets down the back streets of Edison.
And so it was that Fred, normally a free range chicken but confined to a leash for the parade, strutted to the finish line first.
“The free range chicken leads the way!” crowed owner Austin Breckenridge. Like Phil, Austin works on a farm. In the farm’s off-season, he manages a duck hunting club.
The parade “from one end of Edison to the other” lasted less than five minutes. If you blinked, you missed it. And it’s a good thing Bigfoot was there with his camera, because Domesticus blinked.
After all, it’s a long trip from Seattle to Edison, and you have fuel up with a grande mocha from Starbucks. So by the time you’ve arrived and done your initial reporting, a short detour to the Old Edison Inn becomes necessary.
Though hundreds of chicken paraders thronged the street outside, the Inn was dark and empty. A young man behind the bar muttered to someone in the kitchen, and we thought we heard the words “fucking chicken thing.” However, when we apologetically asked to use the facilities, he gave us a genuine smile and said, “Sure,” pointing us to a door marked “Gals.”
And in that brief interlude, we missed the whole chicken parade.
But we caught the spirit of the thing, and it will stay with us for some time.