VERSAILLES – On June 13-15, the annual Poultry Days Festival returns to the Village of Versailles. The festival theme of “Cluck Dynasty, Happy Happy Happy!” was selected by the 2014 Festival Chairman Shawn Peters and represents the true Cluck Dynasty which after 63 years is only getting stronger. Shawn has been on the Poultry Days Board of Directors for nine years and has volunteered with Poultry Days for 22 years. Shawn is the Technology Coordinator for Ansonia and Mississinawa Valley Local Schools and resides in Versailles with his wife Sandy and children Nathan and Cassie.
It has been over 10 years since the record number of 26,101 chicken dinners was sold in 2002. However, in recent years sales have been steadily increasing with 24,196 dinners sold in 2013. It may require inviting an extra friend to the festival or it might be an excuse to eat another delicious dinner, either way a new record is possible for 2014. Each dinner comes with 1/2 a chicken, Mikesells chips, applesauce, the traditional orange drink and a dinner roll baked by the Versailles Sweet Shop.
The 2014 festival will include old favorites and plenty of new activities for the whole family. Poultry Days features two parades. The Grand Parade is at 11 a.m. on Saturday and is one of the largest parades in the area and, The Antique Car & Tractor Parade is at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and is preceded by a car display. Harold and Deb Pohl have been selected as Honorary Parade Marshals. This year the Grand Parade will include a welcome home to Darke County Vietnam Veterans. A tribute event will follow at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Versailles School Administration Building gym.
The Darke County Photography Club will return to the festival with their photography competition. The 5k Run/Walk which is part of the Wayne Healthcare Darke County Challenge, has grown each year and will take place on Saturday morning. Also, the Mister and Miss SuperFit challenge returns this year for anyone wanting to test their physical fitness. The Robots are back! Area high school students from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) will conduct a robot demonstration that is sure to wow spectators on Sunday.
Poultry days will be hosting a number of exciting activities including, a Cornhole Tournament, free Kiddie Tractor Pulls, a 2-on-2 basketball tournament, flower show, cake & egg decorating contest, and the famous Miss Chick and Little Miss Poultry Days pageants. Interested in Reptiles? Valley Exotics will be at the festival with a Reptile Trailer, Petting Zoo, and Pony Rides. The Serendipity Moms will be hosting over 70 vendors on the grounds. K of C Bingo, tractor displays, carnival games and rides will also be there. In additional to chicken there will be your favorite festival foods and the Versailles Band Boosters will be operating their food tent. Frisbees will also be flying, so be sure to catch a game as the Ultimate Frisbee tournament, the 3rd largest in the U.S., returns to Versailles once again. Not to be forgotten, Rage and Rocko the Fire Prevention Dogs will also be making appearances! Jason Emmons of Bear Hollow Wood Carvers will be demonstrating his talent with carvings to be donated to area groups.
The Social Tent will host 11 musical groups with live entertainment starting early each day! Some old favorites and new talent will light up the stage with excitement. Festival headliners include Renegade, Higgins Madewell, Mark Cantwil, 8 Ball, Saw Creek, The MicStand Band, Frohna and Warner and Empty Tank. The adult beverage selection will include Bud Light and Bud Select 55, a selection of craft beer and fine wines from The Winery at Versailles.
Poultry Days is a volunteer based, non-profit organization in Versailles, which has conducted an annual festival celebrating the area’s history in the Poultry industry since 1952. The festival is held at 459 S. Center St., Versailles, the second full weekend in June. For the festival schedule and event registration visit www.versaillespoultrydays.com.