Social portion of Poultry Days canceled


VERSAILLES – In response to additional restrictions announced by the governor, Poultry Days has canceled the social portion of the Aug. 14-16 festival.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s mask mandate cannot be reasonably adhered to, and there is potential for additional restrictions, Poultry Days officials said. In addition to the cost involved with social distancing, the potential for additional restrictions creates a situation in which the festival might be canceled or even shut down mid-festival. This scenario would have an enormous financial effect on the festival and the community, organizers said.

Poultry Days uses its annual festival proceeds to operate and maintain Heritage Park, along with financially supporting numerous local organizations. It is the board’s fiduciary responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the festival’s longevity, organizers said.

“We want to emphasize the support and guidance the Darke County Health Department has provided to the festival,” organizers said in a press release. “The decision to cancel live entertainment, rides, 5K and adult beverages was made by the festival board. The board extends its appreciation to the Darke County Health Department, Versailles Board of Education, Versailles Band Boosters, YOLO, Village of Versailles and our numerous partners, sponsors and volunteers.”

While the social portion of the festival is canceled, chicken sales and pageants are continuing. Chicken will be sold via a drive-thru all weekend, and the Miss Chick and Little Miss Poultry Days pageants will be held. Poultry Days began with a chicken barbecue and Miss Chick, and those traditions will continue.

The drive-thru chicken line will be at Heritage Park with sales from 3:30-8 p.m. Aug. 14, 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 16. Individual dinners will be available with tickets sold in the drive-thru or presale at Johns IGA, Versailles S&L or Second National at Versailles.

The board has placed an order for 20,000 chicken halves and expects to sell out. Guests should enter the chicken line from the North on Klipstine Road to purchase individual dinners or pick up coolers.

Bulk chicken sales have been extended to Aug. 7. Organizers’ hope is bulk sales will allow for backyard gatherings, barn parties, picnics and family trips.

Twenty chicken halves (no sides) can be purchased for $130 packed in their own cooler and ready for pickup. If unopened, these coolers can stay hot up to five hours.

When placing an order at versaillespoultrydays.com, indicate the day and time for picking up the order. If two or more coolers are purchased, they can be delivered by noon Aug. 14 within 25 miles of Versailles. Free delivery is only available on Aug. 14. There has been a tremendous response with more than 6,000 halves already sold, organizers said.

“The Poultry Days festival is rooted in 69 years of community and family involvement,” organizers said in the press release. “The festival has always been about neighbors, family, friends, classmates and community coming together to socialize and enjoy everything that Versailles has to offer. The circumstances of 2020 will not change that. Even though we will not be able to host a large gathering on the festival grounds, we encourage the community to still responsibly embrace the spirit of the Poultry Days Festival. Get out your chicken decorations. Invite your friends and neighbors over. Set up lawn chairs and games for the kids. Rekindle old friendships. And most importantly, enjoy that world famous Poultry Days chicken!”

Registration for Miss Chick continues at versaillespoultrydays.com until July 30. First prize is $1,000 and a lifetime title of Miss Chick.

For updates, follow Poultry Days on Facebook. Chicken questions may be directed to vpdchickenline@gmail.com.