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Thousands flock to fifth fall fowl fest

Thousands flock to fifth fall fowl fest
Thousands flock to fifth fall fowl fest
A stream of plastic embryos float through a culvert at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon Friday evening during the inaugural egg race at the fifth annual Cockadoodle Days Festival. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

Weather, crowds and fun at the fifth annual Cockadoodle Days, held Friday and Saturday at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, was in stark contrast to last year’s event, which was almost completely washed out when torrential rains caused flooding on almost all of the fairgrounds property.
‘This year’s event was very successful,’ said festival chair Donn Blank ‘Attendance-wise, Jim Cavins and I were guessing we had about 5,000 visitors, give or take a few. We had high hopes, we were certainly pleased, and in no way were we disappointed.’
Blank said the highlight of Cockadoodle Days, which was sponsored by Lucas Oil, was the Maggie Bays ‘booth’ at the mega yard sale.
The booth, which took up an entire cattle barn, pulled in a whopping $4,500.
‘Myself and another person went to other yard sales the weekend before the festival to see if they’d donate unsold items to the benefit. The amount of items we received was just amazing,’ Blank said. ‘That’s something we’re going to try and do every year. There’s always a needy child or someone in that same situation that we can help. We’ll just play it by ear.’
Bays was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma late in the summer of 2005, just months before her 10th birthday. Cancer has returned a third time, so her family is trying stem cell transplant procedures at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The YMCA of Harrison County sold out of 750 chicken dinners on both days. On Friday, the final half-chicken dinner was sold at about 8:30 p.m.; on Saturday, it was much earlier.
The ‘old’ events such as musical acts The Marlins and The Monarchs had their usual solid crowds, and some of the new events were well received but had low participation, Blank said. There were just two contestants for the Old Hen, and none for the Cocky Rooster.
‘I think part of it was being the first year for that stuff,’ he said. ‘We’re hoping to get more interest in things like the Old Hen and Cocky Rooster contest. There were about 30 Texas Hold’em players, 10 entries for the (Tastiest Chicken Dumplin’ contest) and about five to seven people in the chicken-wing eating contest. The events were a lot of fun and people enjoyed them, but as a committee we have to figure out how to get more people in them.’
The Cockadoodle Days Queen was 16-year-old Caroline Turcotte, a junior at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School. She’s the daughter of Catherine and Arthur Turcotte. Princess was Sami Colin, 13. She’s the daughter of Paul and Denis Colin and is in the eighth grade at Corydon Central Junior High. The first runner-up was 13-year-old Reagan Bush, daughter of Tammy and Scot Payne and Donald Bush. She’s also an eighth grader at CCJHS. The Little Chick was Taylor Leigh Davis. She’s the six-year-old granddaughter of Delores and Sherwin Carmack.
The Texas Hold’em tournament came down to a three-way tie between Jeremy Kirkham, Arkie McCullum and Tim Coffman.
Due to low water in Little Indian Creek, the egg race was moved to the small stream at the rear of the fairgrounds. The water was dammed for a short time, then once the 171 plastic embryos were dropped into the water, the dam was removed to allow the eggs to bob along to the finish line.
The winning egg, No. 388, was owned by Darin Blank.
‘I thought the turnout was great,’ said chairperson Evelyn McPherson. ‘We had some problems with the weather drying up Little Indian, but this seemed to work pretty well and actually was probably better for viewing.’
The silent auction, which benefited Leadership Harrison County, raised $1,263.
Saturday morning’s chicken sale by Tyson Foods caused traffic snarls in downtown Corydon. The sale started at 9 a.m. at the fairgrounds and continued until noon, an hour after it was supposed to close.
‘I’d say it was definitely a record for them. Tyson donates the profits from that towards Leadership Harrison County, and I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t have been a record,’ Blank said, adding that he’s looking for a better traffic plan for next year’s sale. ‘This year’s traffic interfered with the traffic that was coming in for the festival, and ideally we’d like to have it to where it didn’t clog up the town. Part of the problem was people were taking the side streets to sneak into the line along Capitol Avenue and then the people on Capitol would block the intersection to keep the people on the side streets from cutting in line. From our standpoint, the chicken sale was a great success but the traffic was not. That’s something we’d like to improve.’
Blank suggested that anyone who attended this year’s festival go to its Web site ‘ ‘ to submit ideas on how to make next year’s event even better. Blank also said the committee is also looking for volunteers. More information can be gained by e-mailing him through the site.
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