7:38am

Fri May 17, 2013
Colorado Wonders

Hey Colorado, Ready For Mike The Headless Chicken Fest?

On the western slope of Colorado you'll find the city of Fruita. Known for mountain biking and rodeo, it's also known for Mike the Headless Chicken.

Credit City of Fruita, CO / Facebook

If you haven't heard the story of 'Miracle' Mike know that it's the exception to the old phrase 'running around like a chicken with your head cut off.'

Every third weekend in May, Fruita celebrates the wonder chicken.

As the story goes, in 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen was to select a chicken a dinner. As with all tales, this was an important task as his mother-in-law was to be at dinner. It needed to be a good chicken.

Mike was the 'lucky' choice and was placed under the ax. We'll let the City of Fruita's Miketheheadlesschicken.org take it from here:

Then the determined bird shook off the traumatic event and never looked back. Mike (it is unclear when the famous rooster took on the name) returned to his job of being a chicken. He pecked for food and preened his feathers just like the rest of his barnyard buddies.

Don't panic, Mike wasn't some kind of zombie. Just enough of the brain stem remained to keep the poultry going.

Mike lived for 18 months, fed by Lloyd via funnel and eye dropper. Lloyd took the bird on tour earning a living as a sideshow attraction. Mike got coverage in both Time and Life magazine (the pictures are particularly amazing), and Ripley's Believe it or Not.

May 17 & 18 marks the 15th year of the festival. They'll be honoring the stubborn fowl with the usual festivities: a 5k Run, car shows, eating contests, and live music. Probably some adult beverages as well, this year's theme is 'MIKEartitaville.'

H/T to both colleague Robert Leja and Roadside America on Twitter.