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Today is Going to Be a Festival of Chickens: Thanks America!


 Sometimes life gets kinda busy, you know?  Between doing what I have to do to get things done, sleeping and fighting crime, I often find myself forgetting to breathe. Indeed, it’s amazing I leave the house remembering to wear pants most days (when they are required, that is).  But not today, kids…. today is going to be different.  Life-changing, really.  Today I’m forcing myself to stop, look around and smell the fryer.   

Today I’m going to ChickenFest.   

Now granted, I hear you:  why ChickenFest?  Why not WienerFest, or Italian Days, or WhiteFish Bay’s Celebration of Glorious Boiled Fish Souporee?   Or any one of the billion other ‘community festivals’ available in the greater Wisconsin  area throughout the summer?  The answer is simple:  ChickenFest is less than a mile from my house.  And also, it has a fabulous logo:    

You see how happy that chicken is?  He’s not upset that he’s about to be de-feathered, breaded and deep-fried; he’s ecstatic to exploit his deliciousness for the betterment of mankind!  He is only truly happy when we are happy, and when that means leaving off the sunscreen to get his skin a delectable toasty brown, then he’s all in.  It would take a real heartless bastard to deny such an amiable fellow his dream…and for once, I refuse to be the soul crusher.   

Plus, I simply must support with my full weight any community that built a yearly food-centric gathering apparently solely around a Saturday Night Live commercial featuring Phil Hartman:   

For a brief history, Chickenfest is found in Darboy, Wisconsin, an unincorporated community on the outskirts of Appleton WI, that has seen a dramatic influx in the last decade of ‘people who think a community of 70,000 has too much street traffic’, and who wanted more land.  In short, it’s a tiny snapshot of manifest destiny and urban sprawl, but using a friendly Midwestern lens to filter.  And also, the snapshot is then deep-fried.  But before all these whitey hipsters moved in with their High Definition TeeVees, their Mazda Miatas and their ‘shoes’, this little can-do town  had one majestic card in their deck:  Darboy-Style Broasted Chicken.   

I don’t know what ‘Darboy-Style’ really means.  I suspect it has something to do with the clay-riddled dirt that the feed is grown in, or possibly it’s a spice-blend that includes rosemary and flakes of chrome; either way I don’t care.  You don’t need to see the math to know that it adds up to delicious, so stop asking so many questions.  Frankly, I don’t even know what ‘broasting’ is, but I think it involves boiling meat in a bag and then cooking it on the sun.  It just doesn’t matter.  ChickenFest is a celebration of this wonderous thing, and that’s all you need to know.   

In a way, it’s a community festival like most others: craft tables where one can buy a dreamcatcher made by a seven-year old; inflatable ‘rides’ that are priced somewhere near the cost of traveling to space; a host of local bands featuring one ‘nationally known headliner, sorta’.    



 ChickenFest hasn’t quite hit the big-time yet, though, in this area – rather than a ‘Cinderella’ or a ‘Warrant’ or a  ‘Foreigner featuring An Original Mic Stand From the Agent ProvacaTour ‘, they aim a little lower.  In recent years, I’ve seen former teen sensation Ryan Cabrera on his ‘I’m a Goddamned Serious Thirty-Three-Year-Old’  Tour, and Brooke ‘I’m a dumber and thicker Paris Hilton’ Hogan.  This year, I haven’t heard of any of the ‘big’ acts, but there is a fella named ‘Jaicko’ who looks sorta like Lenny Kravitz, and who I’m assuming must do some sort of tribute to Michael Jackson.  I mean, it would stand to reason, right?  Why else would you name yourself that, otherwise?  You better be startin’ somethin’ today, Jaicko, if you know what’s best for your career.   

None of this really matters though – I can get all these things and more at any local festival, I suppose.  What matters is this:  there will be crispy awesome all over the place, and Matty like.  Matty like very, very much.  While the consumption of chicken is a given – the price of admission, per se, I think I may sojourn down the unbeaten path.    

In short: I’m going  rogue this year, and focusing not on the main event (though wings will certainly make an appearance), and instead putting some serious work on the undercard; the portion of the program I refer to as ‘Carny-Style Wonderful’.  A brief itinerary of my plan will involve the following:  deep-fried Oreos, cheesecake-on-a-stick, and cheese curds.  All building up to a brilliant crescendo early this evening when I finally face my fears:   


That’s right.  The Deep-Fried Twinkie.  Fatties of the World, REPRESENT!   

I’ll see you all mid-week, when I emerge from the sugar coma.

One Comment leave one →
  1. meathorse permalink
    2010/06/26 4:40 pm

    The deep fried Twinkie. The poster child of both American excess AND obesity. I have never desired one due to stigma alone. However, I had never seen a picture of one before either. A deep fried Twinkie has no business looking so delicious. I surrender! I am the thing I hate!

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