by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO COUNTY— Why can’t we Huerfanoes have a cool festival like the one they have in Fruita? It’s the “Mike the Headless Chicken Festival.” You want tourists? You’d have them crawling out of the woodwork if we had a humongous draw like this one. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to attend a headless chicken festival?
You know me by now, and I just HAD to look this up on the Internet at MikeTheHeadlessChicken.org . Mike was a rooster that lived 18 months without a head after a farmer botched the job of chopping it off in preparation for the stew pot. After he shocked everyone by continuing to live, Mike was insured for $10,000 and went on a road trip coast-to-coast as a sideshow in 1945. He wowed countless thousands of people (and made a few barf) and proved once and for all that chickens don’t have much of a brain and don’t really need one. The festival features such unique events as the Run Like a Headless Chicken 5K, a Chicken Dance contest and a lawnmower race (and no, I don’t have a clue what lawnmowers have to do with chickens). The Headless Chicken Festival is held in May each year, and since I don’t know of many other reasons to go to Fruita, this festival is a capital idea.
It seems to me we could use a festival like this one. But I don’t know of even one animal locally that could live without a head. So we’d have to pick something else unique to the area. A couple years ago, there was a horse that hung out in a pasture near La Veta that didn’t have a tail. Well, its tail was about a nanometer long, but I think that could qualify for a sideshow. We have a few deer around with one side of their antler rack missing. Although that’s not really exciting, I think city people might pay to see it. We have lizards all over the place that are missing their tails too. We have grasshoppers missing one hopper leg. I’m sure somewhere in this county we have an occasional three-legged dog. There are cats without tails here and there. But the one thing we have lots of is WIND.
We could have a Wind Festival. Of course we would have to schedule it for the windiest part of the year, so that narrows it down to sometime between August and June. We could have a 5K race and call it Runnin’ Against the Wind. We could have a contest setting up tents, and the last one that got shredded and blown to the West Peak would be the winner. We could have a bad hair contest. We might see 8,000 people enter that. And first prize could be a case of hairspray and a ball cap. At the Dallas wind festival they have a giant kite flying contest, but I don’t think that would be a good idea here. There’s no way the Dallas wind is as robust as ours, and you never know when some politician would get dragged away by the kite and all of our future grants and loans would be cancelled in perpetuity. A pancake breakfast would be good, as long as it’s not outdoors – although that could lead to pancake-frisbee golf. After all, we do love our golf in Huerfano County.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward