Where the Roosters Go: The 65th Annual Rogue River Rooster Crow Festival
Summertime seems to be when we bring out our biggest boasts. Hot dog and pie eating contests. Watermelon seed spitting. And, since 1953, a chance to see whose rooster can crow the loudest.
In its 65th year, the Rooster Crow Festival has become a beloved and steady event in Southern Oregon. The idea behind it was to put Rogue River on the map and to bring the community together—a somewhat absurd and quaint notion considering all the other bragging rights here.
This year’s festival will take place Saturday, June 30 through Sunday, July 1. City Recorder for Rogue River Carol Weir says, “This started out as a children’s event but has evolved to include adults. All children receive a ticket for a free ice cream and the best judged adult receives a trophy.”
This year Kiwanis and the Rooster Crow Committee are organizing the event together. Over 50 vendors, including food and drinks, will be present. Around 10,000 people are expected to attend, ready to enjoy jet boat races, live performances, and a run. Weir says there’s “something for everyone! Instead of music entertainment we are providing the performances by the Society for Creative Anachronism recreating the arts and skills of the pre 17th century Europe and the State of Jefferson Vigilance Committee, a Comedic Old West reenactment Skit Theatre Group.”
The Rooster Crow Committee’s mission statement explains how, with the involvement of Kiwanis, the event will benefit local businesses and clubs. “And thus reflect the cooperative spirit, richness, inclusiveness, and diversity of the community of the Rogue River/Wimer areas.”
The festival will officially kick-off with the parade at 10 am, while the most anticipated event over the weekend––the Rooster Crow Contest––will take place at 2:15 pm. The Human Crow Contest invites adults and children to try out their own rooster calls to take home a trophy.
“The Rooster Crow champion is the rooster that crows the greatest number of times in 30 minutes,” says one of the organizers of the event John Krawczyk. “The children’s crow is strictly for fun and a free ice cream cone. The adult human crow winner is based on audience response as determined by a panel of judges.”
“There has been a gradual trend of increased participation in the human crow category and we are increasing the adult human crow awards in response,” he adds. “All youth participating will continue to get a ticket for a free soft serve ice cream at our Kiwanis booth.”
He says that although the Chamber of Commerce show will not take place during the weekend, it will take place later on in the year. Children can also enjoy cow train rides hosted by Vannoy Farms. He adds, “The CAL-ORE River Racers will be back to display their racers—however, for safety a low river level precludes actual racing.”
While Krawczyk hopes families enjoy the event, he also says, “The Kiwanis mission is empower communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children. Our club’s goal to make the Rooster Crow family-oriented community event.”
Rooster Crow Festival
Saturday, June 30 – Sunday, July 1
Downtown Rogue River