Mark your calendars for May 20 and 21 for the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita, Colorado.
Mike was a chicken who lived for 18 months in the mid-1940s after getting his head chopped off in preparation for dinner (not Mike’s, his owner’s). But a little bit of brain stem remained. With regular feeding with an eyedropper, Mike refused to die and, in fact, thrived. His owner Lloyd Olson described him as “a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.”
Headless Mike went on tour and made Olson mucho money until the fowl choked on a kernal of corn and died. At the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, you can enjoy music and other entertainment, a chicken dance contest, chicken games, eating contests and more including dining on fried chicken (no offense, Mike). As the festival organizers say, “Attending this fun, family event is a NO BRAINER.” Fruita is just a few miles from Grand Junction. Looking for a spectacular place to camp? Head up the bluff above town to Colorado National Monument.
Watch a one-minute video about Mike.
In the late 1940s, when Denver, Colo., residents were still allowed to keep chickens, my sister's neighbor chopped off a chicken's head. I watched, amazed, as that critter ran around the back yard, much to the consternation of the neighbor and to the delight of my sister and me. Right then and there I became a believer in that old analogy.