The Delmarva Chicken Festival, a tradition on the Delmarva Peninsula since 1948, will make it 65th and final run June 20 and 21 at the Queen Anne's County 4-H Park near Centreville, Md.
First organized as a one-time backdrop for a national competition to develop a better meat type chicken, the event continued as a popular means of promoting and spotlighting Delmarva's growing chicken industry. But, times have changed and Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., the trade association for the peninsula's chicken industry and the event's overall sponsor, has announced that it will discontinue sponsorship after the June event.
According to DPI President Keith Moore, "DPI is refocusing its mission and feels that in today's world there may be more effective ways to promote the chicken industry and educate the general public about Delmarva's number one agricultural enterprise. This was a very difficult decision made with much consideration by the DPI Board of Directors," Moore said."DPI recently reviewed its long term strategic plan and feels that this change is needed to best meet the needs of its members."
While over the last six decades DPI has adjusted its programs periodically to meet new challenges, just as it is doing with this change, this is one of the most visible changes in DPI's history. But rather than diminishing services to its members, leaders of the 1,800-member organization believe it will strengthen DPI and the local chicken industry.
Meanwhile, DPI in partnership with the Queen Anne's County Delmarva Chicken Festival Committee is working to make the 65th Delmarva Chicken Festival a grand finale for this long running event. Delmarva's giant fry pan will be among many festival attractions. In addition, there will be baby chicks, educational and historical poultry displays, children's activities and fun competitions, commercial exhibits, arts and crafts, two days of live musical entertainment, and much more.
The park is conveniently located along Maryland Route 18 at Dulin Clark Road, a short distance from U.S. routes 50 and 301, and Maryland Route 213. Admission is free.