2023 Delmarva Chicken Festival Will Celebrate 100 Years of Growing Chicken

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The Delmarva Chicken Festival, a long-running and beloved public event from 1948 to 2014, will return in 2023 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first dedicated broiler chicken farm on Delmarva. The festival will take place October 7, 2023 from 1-7 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland and will be free and open to the public.

Attractions at the 2023 Delmarva Chicken Festival include local food trucks, vendors, historical and educational exhibits, children’s activities, and more. Live music will be performed throughout the day by The Jones Boys, Jimmy Charles, and Mike Hines & The Look.

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.

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. Historically, 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 with a modern twist, focusing 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, Del.’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.