Yes, a chicken parade. It’s a real thing. A parade of chickens. I wasn’t sure what to expect when our friends invited us to this annual event in the little town of Edison, Washington (population 133). Would live chickens be ushered down the street? Do people walk their chickens on a leash? Do they even make chicken leashes? So many questions. And, of course, we wanted to support our friends in their new small town adventures!
The origin of the event is not entirely clear. Some say the parade started out as a bird festival to honor the birding culture of the valley and drum up excitement during the dreary winter months. Other say it started as a funeral procession for a chicken that belonged to the local elementary school. Either way, the parade has become an attraction that draws people — many dressed in chicken attire — from the surrounding area. The population of this small town can increase to more than 1000 if the weather is decent.
The Main Event
The parade route runs right through Edison’s two-block downtown area and lasts less than 10 minutes. It takes three times as long for the marchers to assemble than to walk the entire parade route. The event begins at high noon and it is recommended that you arrive early so you don’t miss the whole thing.
While there are a few live chickens that are carted or carried down the street, there are plenty of inflatable and homemade chicken costumes that march as well. The parade welcomes all birded creatures and you can spot pigeon and peacock costumes among the many types of chickens.
The After Party
All of Edison’s amazing food venues were packed after the parade, but we happened to get a pre-parade bit to eat at Slough Food where their special of the day was Chicken Noodle Soup.
Here are a few favorites from the parade…
Perfect opportunity to wear the faux yellow fur.
Who invited this guy?!?