The annual World Chicken Festival pays tribute to Colonel Harland Sanders, who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Held on the last weekend in September, this festival brings delicious foods and family-friendly events to the streets of London, Kentucky. It's also a music lover's dream thanks to the regular schedule of concerts and contests on the festival's two stages. Come for the chicken but stick around for the gospel music, the grand parade and the carnival rides because there's something for everyone.
The World Chicken Festival revolves around the legacy of Colonel Sanders, so naturally, there are plenty of chicken-themed events to participate in. One of the most fascinating is the world's largest skillet. At 10 feet across and 8 inches deep, this massive skillet produces a huge amount of fried chicken during the festival. Head over to watch volunteer fryers at work, and be sure to try some of the delicious meals and snacks. You'll find the skillet at the intersection of 4th and Long Street.
Chicken is only the beginning. In the arts, crafts and food area, you can buy treats and souvenirs from all around Kentucky. Many of the items are homemade, making this a great chance to try some true Southern cooking.
Are you bringing your family to the World Chicken Festival? Head straight for the carnival. Take a spin on the merry-go-round or try out one of the thrill rides. Unlimited ride armbands are available, so your little ones can ride to their hearts' content. There are also plenty of options for the adult thrill-seekers in the family. Families with little ones love Kiddie World, an area that's designed specifically for younger children. Watch a remarkable magic show by Magic Mike or enjoy the interactive performance by Granpa Crachet. Every performance in Kiddie World is clean and appropriate for everyone in your crew. One of the funniest events of the festival is the Struttin', Cluckin' and Crowin' Contest. Watch contestants try their best to mimic chicken behavior or join in the fun and enter to win prizes.
While all of this fun is happening, the two festival stages offer a full schedule of performances. At the Stage of Stars at the intersection of Broad and 6th Street, you can catch the festival's headliners. From Kentucky Just Us and Bourbon Branch to Vertical Horizon and Sister Hazel, it's possible to hear a different style of music every day. This stage is also home to the popular Somerset Community College Culinary Chicken Cook-Off Challenge. If your little ones want to get in on the fun, enter them in the Kids' Floss Dance Contest.
Near the London Courthouse, head to the Kinetic by Windstream/Wildcat Harley-Davidson Stage for kid-friendly events. Dress up and enter the Colonel Sanders Look-a-Like Contest, watch singers compete in the karaoke contest or listen to concerts from Waylon Nelson, Peggy Inks and more. On Sunday, this stage comes to life with the Gospel Eggstravaganza.
The crowning glory of the World Chicken Festival is the Grand Parade, which happens on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. In 2020, the theme is "'90s Flashback" with an avian twist, of course. Organizers have hinted at costume or float ideas like New Chickens on the Block or Saved by the Chicken. Get to Main Street early to snag a great spot and get a good view of the fun.
The World Chicken Festival takes place in downtown London, Kentucky. Festival events and booths take over many of the town's main streets, making it easy to walk from one attraction to the next.
The World Chicken Festival does not make special arrangements for RVers at the festival. If you're planning to bring your own RV or you're considering an RV rental from RVshare, your best bet is to check out the campgrounds around town. Keep in mind that the festival brings in large crowds each year, so it's important to make reservations as soon as possible to get the best spots.
The closest RV camping option is the Westgate RV Campground, which is open all year. Each site comes with full hookups; you can choose between 50-amp and 30-amp electrical service. If you're new to driving an RV, you'll love the location, which is a quick drive from Interstate 75, so there's no need to navigate crowded streets. In the campground, you'll find Wi-Fi, a playground and a swimming pool. Don't want to cook? Several restaurants are within walking distance. With both pull-through and back-in sites, this campground is accessible for a wide range of RVs.
If you're looking to hang out in the great outdoors between visits to the festival, book a site at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park, which lies just 4 miles south of town. This lovely forested park features 146 sites nestled in the trees. With hookups, laundry and a dump station, this is a convenient spot for longer stays. It's also popular with families thanks to the ropes course, pool and mini golf course.
About 15 minutes northwest of town, the Wildcat Adventures Off-Road Park offers a variety of primitive and full-hookup campsites. From your campsite, it's an easy walk to the park's off-roading areas. Bring your ATVs because with more than 100 miles of trails, there's a challenge for riders of every skill level. This is a family-friendly park, so you don't need to worry about loud parties or late evenings. Plus, since it's just 2 miles from I-75, it's easy to reach in an RV. Nearby, Wood Creek Lake offers great opportunities to fish for walleye and catfish.
Are all of these spots booked? If you're bringing a tow car, you'll find a variety of great campgrounds within an hour of London. Start your search to the south near Laurel River Lake. On the shores of this massive lake, Forest Service-run spots like Grove Campground and Holly Bay Campground offer a relaxed setting and beautiful views. Not comfortable navigating narrow roads in an RV? Stop at Corbin/Laurel Lake KOA, which sits just off I-75. Laurel Lake Camping Resort is another comfortable option, offering a store, restrooms, showers and free Wi-Fi.
Coming to the World Chicken Festival without an RV? London offers a small selection of hotels to accommodate you during the event. Since the rooms are limited, it's important to make a reservation as soon as possible; demand spikes as the festival approaches. Most hotels are gathered in two main areas: near the intersection of I-75 and Highway 192 southwest of town and near the intersection of I-75 and Highway 25 northwest of town. With options like a Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Suites, Baymont Inn and a Fairfield Inn and Suites, it's relatively easy to find a room for any budget.
Would you prefer to stay in a forest cabin? The Wildcat Adventures Off-Road Park, the Corbin/Laurel Lake KOA and the Laurel Lake Camping Resort all offer comfortable cabin rentals. If everything is booked, you'll find additional hotels about 45 minutes up I-75 in Berea.
Whether you're in a car or an RV, the easiest way to get to the World Chicken Festival is on Interstate 75. It runs right from Lexington in the north and Knoxville in the south and passes just west of London. Simply take Highway 192 or Highway 25, and the downtown area is just over a mile away.
During the World Chicken Festival, parking can be a challenge. Some local businesses open their parking lots for paid parking, which is a great option if you're coming in a car. If you need to drive your RV to the festival, your best bet is to park at the London - Laurel County Information Center or the Walmart Supercenter parking lot. From there, you can walk or grab a ride-share service to the downtown area.
The World Chicken Festival is free to enter, so you don't need to worry about buying tickets. Just show up on the day to enjoy all of the fun. It's a good idea to bring cash for faster service at the food and vendor booths.
If you're heading to the World Chicken Festival this year, the RVshare team wants to hear all about it! Send your pictures and your memories to [email protected] Then, keep an eye on the RVshare blog and social media pages because you might see your photos and stories in a feature.
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Please note, this is not the official source of the event information. While we try to be as comprehensive as possible, some details may have changed since the time this article was written. Please confirm final details with the official event page.