Here’s wishing everyone in the U.S. an old-fashioned, happy 4th of July. 🙂
Speaking of old-fashioned July 4ths, when I think back to the days when I was growing up in a small Tennessee town, one of my recollections is the annual Chicken Festival. If memory serves me correctly, the Chicken Festival (which started there in 1957) was held close to the July 4 weekend every year. (Although the Festival still goes on today, the event has moved to May.)
What, you may ask, does one do at a Chicken Festival? First, let me explain that the festival came into being because the poultry industry had recently brought much-needed jobs to the area. A chicken-processing plant had come to town, which provided work for many people, and many other folks started raising chickens to be processed for the food industry. An advertisement in the county newspaper calling for support for the first festival featured the wording “Poultry—Yardstick of Our Prosperity.” In other words the “broiler industry,” as it was called, was a godsend for the area.
When I was a college student studying journalism, the editor of the county paper hired me to work during the summers when I was home on break. Once I was assigned to write a series of articles about the chicken industry in the county, and one of the growers I interviewed gave me three baby chicks, along with food for them. My long-suffering mother made no complaints when I installed those fluffy yellow chicks in a box in my bedroom, but as everyone knows, chicks don’t stay little and cute all that long. Very soon I was donating them to a cousin who already had chickens and an appropriate place to keep them.
But back to the Chicken Festival. Members of the sponsoring civic club would set up at the county fairgrounds where they would barbecue hundreds of chicken halves and sell them to the appreciative festival attendees. The fragrance of barbecue sauce would permeate the air. Entertainment was also supplied and often featured singers from around the area. One year the entertainment included the popular Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. I wish I had been there that year.
Whatever your plans are for the Fourth, I hope you have fun and stay safe!