Chuckin' chickens (rubber ones) at the Baker County Fair
By BRENNA KNOWLES
Of the Baker City Herald
There are many different techniques for throwing a rubber chicken into a bucket.
You can squish it into a ball, swing it from its legs or neck, throw it in a spiral like a football, lob it like a basketball, or even throw two chickens at once.
All of these techniques were used at the Rubber Chicken Contest at the Baker County Fair on Wednesday.
Seven-year-old Silas Connolley took an early lead in the first round of the contest for the ten and under group. He landed two rubber chickens into an aluminum bucket ten feet away.
Connolley is visiting the fair from Idaho City, Idaho, and was encouraged to compete by his mother.
She said we would win prizes, he said.
Connolley said his success was due in part to his underhanded technique. He said it wasnt hard to throw.
A rubber chicken feels like jello, he said.
Grant Markum from Baker City won the competition for the younger division. He took away a Subway sandwich coupon and other donated goods.
Cameron Woods from Baker City said he had never thrown a rubber chicken before. But Ive kicked a real chicken. He was attacking me.
Woods is going to show his hog, Oreo, in the market competition today. The fair is fun, he said. Most of my friends are here and Im excited to show.
For a long spell, nobody could get their chicken in the bucket.
Were in a chicken throwing drought, said volunteer announcer Mark Boothby.
Boothby interviewed each contestant to determine their feelings before and after their toss. He payed attention to the chickens every move, here is the wad and the throw. Now it unfurls, and makes a sharp curve to the left, oh no!
Boothby said the contests are time for the kids to get away from their animals, let loose and have fun with their family.
Marsha Smith participated in the adult age division. Before each throw she blew on her rubber chicken to warm it up.
After that I gave it a body throw.
Smith is from Baker City, and was at the fair to watch her daughter show her lamb.
A rubber chicken feels warm and squishy, she added.
Smith was outdone by Dean Defrees who lives in the Sumpter Valley.
I grabbed it by the feet and tried for one and a half rotations, Defrees said. Ive thrown live chickens, but rubber chickens are a lot lighter than I thought. There was a stiff wind at my back and I had to adjust.
Defrees said the contest was a great activity, and its great that there are more activities this year.
His children are showing hogs and he will be at the fair for the entire week.
Skye Flanagen and Dona Marlia volunteered to organize the competition.