Bluegrass, Chicken Fest Saturday in Petersburg

Friday, June 12, 2009

PETERSBURG -- The 5th Annual Lions Bluegrass and Chicken Festival here promises to be another flappin' and clappin' good time on Saturday in Lions Pride Park.

With music all day from Blue Persuasion, Jake Landers Band, Lonnie Jones & Hard Drive, the contests and games include chicken bowling, nugget eating, egg peeling, skillet tossing, the bouncer and chicken scratching.

Gates open at 10 a.m. with a candy peep eating contest a half hour later. The sugar buzz ought to last through the performance of "Ms. Minnie Pearl & Rod Brasfield" that afternoon, easing into a graceful conclusion with the Holloway Sisters after the 50/50 drawing at 8 p.m.

The Petersburg Lions' Bluegrass and Chicken Festival has its roots in 2004 when members asked themselves what they could do to meet community needs, according to Susan Russell, manager of Dowdle Gas. She's about to become the first female president of the 65-year-old Petersburg Lions Club. Another big event like this was one of five projects planned by the Lions, and it's become a festival that promises to be bigger tomorrow than it's been in the previous four years.

Proceeds from the festival have been used to help pay for a new roof at the Senior Citizens' building, provide money for the town's Parks and Recreation Commission for playground equipment at Morgan Park, and other service organizations, Russell reported in a special edition of the Petersburg newsletter.

"In addition to the Bluegrass and Chicken Festival, Lions Pride Park will be host to a classic car cruise," the newsletter told town residents. For more information for car owners, call Barbara Thornton at 659-9940 or 652-4674.

Asked about anticipated attendance at the festival, Town Recorder Dawn Forlines replied: "Big time hundreds, and it grows every year."

She noted contests for the "best chicken legged" human, and "chicken poop bingo" as among some of the more unique and popular events of the day.

The Petersburg Lions Pride Park is on the east side of U.S. Highway 431 (Fayetteville Highway) between Church and Spring streets.