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The New Reason We Love Fruita, Colorado

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Not all the chickens in Fruita are headless.
Not all the chickens in Fruita are headless.

We’ve always been big fans of Fruita for its amazing mountain biking trails. But when we learned that it’s also home to a little something called the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, we knew that this was a town after our own hearts.

In its 17th year, the festival celebrates an actual headless chicken. In 1945, a farmer named Lloyd Olsen severed the head of a chicken in hopes of having it for dinner. But the chicken had other plans—he lived for another 18 months, pecking and preening and somehow adopting the name Mike. (This is documented here, but be warned—images include a chicken without his head.)

Held the third weekend of May every year, the festival is dedicated to Mike’s impressive will to live and includes a 5k run, disc golf tournament, wing- and Peep-eating contests, live music, a wide array of food and artisan booths.

If you go: The festival this year runs May 14-16 and the theme is Back to the Fruiture (we see what you did there, Fruita). Visit miketheheadlesschicken.org for more information.

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