Chickenfest at Tour de Cluck

On Saturday, Davis Farm to School hosted its third annual Tour de Cluck. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees milled around Davis Central Park, gorging on food provided by the Fowl Food Faire at the Davis Farmers Market and participating in activities involving chickens and bicycles.
Egg-cellent examples of the city’s chicken-mania were events such as the Cluck Exhibition community kickoff, in which members of the community stood on stage to cluck and crow, and the Tour de Cluck Silent Auction that sold chicken-inspired artwork. People also wore full-body chicken suits and ran around the park.
Known as Tour de Cluck’s Mother Hen, Events Coordinator Jacqueline “Jake” Clemens said the event was created as a fundraiser for Davis Farm to School.
According to its website, Davis Farm to School is an organization that strives to encourage local, farm-fresh food in school food.
“I was looking for how to make a contribution to a fantastic community,” Clemens said. “I found out about Davis Farm to School and researched possibilities to create some type of fundraiser to benefit [the school], and ran across the chicken coop tour in Portland.”
Clemens said the idea was conceived in 2009, with the first Tour de Cluck taking place in May 2010.

“My husband and I figured if we could find the sweet spot with chickens and bicycles, that’d be a great thing for Davis,” she said. “May is Bike Month and the community and city are really involved in it.”

In addition, Clemens said the bicycling community has embraced Tour de Cluck, although she said there is never a guarantee that there will be one annually.

Tour de Cluck’s signature event was the Bicycle Chicken Coop Crawl, selling out 700 tickets. With 18 chicken coops set up all over town, people of all ages biked along bicycle pathways and trails to view the displays.

“The chicken coops are made by people who live in Davis,” Clemens said. “There are hundreds of chicken coops in Davis — it’s a whole backyard chicken-keeping culture.”
Clemens said Tour de Cluck is a great community-building event.
“It’s not just the activities the day of, but the process of putting it together and the connections that are made,” Clemens said. “It just involves all aspects of the community.”

— CLAIRE TAN

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