MOUNT VERNON — Each year, Farm Friday tries to have a fun celebrity event to draw people to downtown Mount Vernon. Last year, volunteers were the targets of thrown pies.
In other years, said Farm Services Administration Director Katie Hill, they’ve had events like the “Celebrity Farmer Olympics” and celebrity apple bobbing.
“Jonette Curry was really good at that,” Hill said.
This year, there was going to be a greased pig contest, but some of the details couldn’t be worked out, so the fun event will be a “chick race” in which the celebrities will try to get a two-week old chick to cross the race finish line first.
Sam Fawcett, a grain farmer who represents the Farm Bureau on the board planning the event, came up with the idea.
The celebrities can entice the chicks with grain, blow on them, do a dance to get the chicks to follow or even wear costumes, but they can’t touch the chicks.
“After I came up with the idea, people who raise chickens told me they might just sit there, or they might run together as a flock,” he said. “Maybe there’s a reason I couldn’t find any stories about someone else having a chick race.”
He added that he was also told that if a chick thinks someone is its mother, it would follow “mom” across the finish line.
We’ll find out what happens when the race kicks off about 6:45 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Vine streets. Celebrities have been asked to assemble at 6:30 p.m.
Hill said seven celebrities have agreed to compete in the race. They are Bob Phillips, a Realtor; Scott Will, Mount Vernon High School principal; Jonette Curry, county auditor; Kelly Brenneman, United Way; Chad Christopher, Mount Vernon Fire chief; Nick Blanchard, First-Knox Bank, and Cindy Cunningham, Rauzi-Kidwell Law Firm.
“I think it may be like trying to herd cats,” Hill said.
The chicks for the race will be provided by TSC.
Fawcett said the chicks will also have a home after the race as a neighbor who raises chickens has agreed to take them.