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Spring Chicken Festival plans are heating up
April parade, art show help raise money for Keep Hall Beautiful
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Fowl Art Show

What: Paint a chicken or rooster in a humorous situation; puns and quality of work will be considered

How much: $40 entry fee, which includes frame for artist to keep

Where: Entries should be taken to Frames-You-Nique, 104 Main St., Gainesville

When: Deadline for entries is March 4. Art will be on display beginning March 11 and will be judged the week of March 14. Winner will be announced April 7.

Contact: Don Griffin, 770-532-7074


Keep Hall Beautiful officials are starting to plan the seventh annual Spring Chicken Festival, pulling in a new element this year — a parade.

Companies, civic groups and schools will be able to decorate floats and drive vehicles in the Chicken City Parade.

"It'll be the first one in a long time, and we're really excited about that," said Cindy Reed, executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful.

Board members who are planning the festival met this week to discuss the parade, along with the traditional Official Chicken Cook-off, Rubber ChickEkiden run and Chicken Feathers Quilt Show.

"We've grown so much in the last few years, and last year we had about 30 cooking teams competing," Reed said. "We also had the ChickEkiden and the 5K, so that was exciting."

This week, the group put out a call for artists to participate in the Fowl Art Show. Artists should create an original image that will be used for posters, T-shirts and note cards to promote the festival.

The show is a way for residents to get involved in the state's official cook-off and pay homage to Gainesville's unofficial bird, said Don Griffin, coordinator of the show.

"The artists are encouraged to paint a chicken or rooster in a humorous situation," he said. "The judges will be asked to consider the puns as well as the quality of the birds."

The 2011 winner will join the 2010 winner, Carmen Stolorena, in a booth at the cook-off to sign their posters.

"All of the proceeds go right back into the community with the tree replacement fund program," Reed said. "It really means a lot to people, and we want to continue that."

The program has been able to fund more than 20 tree planting projects in Hall County.

"We went out to Lanier Charter Career Academy this week, and it was great to be able to contribute and see that everyone was so excited to plant in different areas around the campus," Reed said.

"We're also doing environmental education in the schools, and that's a great thing to see kids benefit from this."

Festival planners soon will issue a call for cooks and cooking teams and plan to release more information about the April 30 events.

"It takes so many different groups to pull it together, and everybody gets so excited," Reed said. "We hope the weather holds out this year."


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