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Celebrate Fitzgerald's annual Wild Chicken Festival
A continuing success since its conversion from a rattlesnake roundup
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FITZGERALD -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division, in partnership with local organizers and community leaders, have set the upcoming annual Fitzgerald Wild Chicken Festival.
The celebration began as an annual rattlesnake roundup, but was converted by organizers in 2000 to a festival that honors the town's resident wild Burmese chicken population.
Scheduled for March 14-15 in the heart of historic downtown Fitzgerald, the festival will attract thousands to a variety of food, arts, crafts and other activities and attractions amid blooming azaleas and newly hatched chickens.
For 28 years the festival had been known as "The Rattlesnake Roundup" where people came to see many eastern diamondback rattlesnakes collected by snake hunters. However, due to declining diamondback populations and the highly destructive collecting technique of gassing gopher tortoise burrows, organizers decided the responsible course of action would be to change the focus of the event and rename it the Wild Chicken Festival.
Music at the festival will featureDanny Stone, Todd Lambers, Pop Shop, Okefenokee Joe and a community street dance.
Admission to the festival is free (additional activity fees may apply).
For more information, call (800) 386-4642 or visit the festival Web site

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