Poultry Days keeps growing after 72 years


VERSAILLES — Versailles Poultry Days increased sales of their world-famous chicken dinners despite rain at the 72nd annual gathering. The festival had a beautiful weekend until rain arrived Sunday afternoon. Strong at times, the rain hampered the grounds but dedicated volunteers and over 70 years of experience kept the chicken flowing. Final sales were 37,000 for the weekend with 14,750 on Friday, 14,000 on Saturday and 8,250 on Sunday. The festival fell just short of cooking all the chicken available and Saturday the committee had considered ordering more. Sales were up from 35,600 last year and marks the eighth year the festival has broke a record. The festival hit a high of 26,101 in 2002, broke that record in 2015 and every year since. The festival also set new records in coolers sold and coolers delivered. The festival has served 1,174,285 dinners since 1952. All numbers point to Poultry Days being the World’s Largest Chicken Barbecue.

Three Golden Tickets were given out over the weekend with each recipient receiving free Chicken For Life at Poultry Days. Winners: Friday – Christina Riffell from Versailles. Saturday – Ed Bruner from Arcanum. Sunday – Mary Hartke from Versailles.

Poultry Days thanks the organizers of the various contests and displays at the festival. These events don’t happen without dedicated leaders. The festival is looking for leaders to manage the Antique Car Display and the Cake and Egg Exhibit. Event leaders can be a business, group, club or individual. If you have interest, contact a board member or email [email protected]. The Egg Exhibit is one of the three original festival activities began in 1952. The others are the Chicken Barbecue and Miss Chick. The Antique Car Display and Parade began in 1973. They will post results to Facebook for the 5k, Art & Photo Show, Grand Parade, Chicken Eating Contest and Flower Show as they are received.

The Egg Exhibit had 41 entries this year and the Cake Show 94 Cakes. The event was organized by Lauren Jones and members of the Versailles Rehab Center. 2023 Poultry Days Cake & Egg Contest Results. Easter Egg Art: 1st Dan Bohman, 2nd William Bohman, 3rd Taryn VanCleve, 4th MacKenzie Bohman, 5th Greg Bohman. Egg Art: 1st Paula Scott, 2nd Barb Bohman, 3rd Grace Nelson. White Eggs: 1st Will Tebbe, 2nd Cole Oliver, 3rd Shyanne Oliver, 4th Kayden Buckingham. Brown Eggs: 1st Zeke Heitkamp, 2nd Nick Gehret, 3rd Will Tebbe, 4th Kayden Buckingham, 5th Cole Oliver. Unusual Eggs: 1st Will Tebbe, 2nd Carter Bohman, 3rd Zeke Heitkamp, 4th Kayden Buckingham, 5th Nick Gehret. Adult Flavored Angel Food Cake: 1st Paula Scott, 2nd Ray Rayburg, 3rd Nicole Oliver, 4th Leona Monnin, 5th Kelli Miller. Youth Flavored Angel Food Cake: 1st Madelyn Kelch, 2nd MacKenzie Miller, 3rd Grace Nelson, 4th Elizabeth Nelson, 5th Will Tebbe. Chocolate Angel Food Cake: 1st MacKenzie Bohman, 2nd Paula Scott, 3rd Alan Monnin, 4th Leona Monnin, 5th Kieran Taylor. Senior Citizen Angel Food Cake: 1st Leona Monnin, 2nd Barb Bohman, 3rd Marie Heitkamp, 4th Denise Otte, 5th Ruth Oliver. Men’s Angel Food Cake: 1st Alan Monnin, 2nd Tony Gaier, 3rd Greg Scott, 4th John Bohman, 5th Ray Rayburg. Women’s Angel Food Cake: 1st Natalie Rocke, 2nd Samantha Gaier, 3rd Allison Barton, 4th Brenda Krinner, 5th Janice Bohman. Boy’s Angel Food Cake: 1st Nolan Rocke, 2nd Samson Vanderhorst, 3rd Nathan Jackson, 4th Caleb Vanderhorst, 5th Samuel Schmitmeyer. Girl’s Angel Food Cake: 1st Madelyn Kelch, 2nd Hailey Brooks, 3rd Nora Rocke, 4th Vallerie Byers, 5th Kieran Taylor.

The annual Art and Photography Show was ran by Daydream Creative Services and Morgan Rose. Grades K-2. 2-D: Liliana Baltrip, Evelyn Sutter, Elsie Schneible. 3-D: Henry Sutter, Kenley McNeilan, Cameryn McNeilan. Poultry: Liliana Baltrip, Marlena Quinto, Evelyn Sutter. Grades 3-5. 2-D: Nolan Barhorst, Corinne Traxler, Mallory Snider. 3-D: Logan Schmitmeyer, Harlow Bonnoront, Camile Koopman. Poultry: Augustine Schneible, Isabella Grisez, Logan Schmitmeyer. Grades 6-8. 2-D: Gwendolyn Schneible, Maddison Springmeyer, Karly Happy. Poultry: Jacob Schoeff, Jacob Schoeff, Rowan Schmitmeyer. Grades 9-12. 2-D: Maddie Walters, Hannah Brewer, Emma Meyer. 3-D: Erin Frederick, Erin Frederick, Paige Gehret. Amateur. 2-D: Julie Moeller, Aubrey Deal, Julie Moeller. 3-D: Aubrey Deal, Larry Kruckeberg, Larry Kruckeberg. Nature/Animals (photo): Trina Thobe, Robert Thobe, Brooklyn Halbig. People (photo): Elizabeth Mann, Mallory Coons, Stacy DeMange. Landscape/Architecture (photo): Kristy Tiede, Elizabeth Mann, Abbigail Henry. Professional. 2-D: Carolyn Armstrong, Melanie Huffman, Carolyn Armstrong. 3-D: Heidi Flory, Hannah Grilliot, Hannah Grilliot. Nature/Animals (photo): Bethany Elsas, Colton Adkins, Ruth McDaniel. People (photo): Colton Adkins, Ruth McDaniel, Meladi Brewer. Landscape/Architecture (photo): Hannah Grilliot, Hannah Grilliot, Meladi Brewer. BEST OF SHOW. Student: Liliana Baltrip. Amateur: Julie Moeller. Professional: Carolyn Armstrong. PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Mallory Coons

Third annual Chicken Eating Contest sponsored by Lane 19/Community Lanes in Minster and ran by VTown Tigers. Former Miss Chick Amanda Borchers defended her title to win for the second year with a time of 2:46. Ben S won the under 21 “Clutch” division with a time of 2:17 followed by Nathan B at 2:28 and Evan V at 2:34. The over 21 “Brewed” division was won by Damian W for the second year with a time of 1:44. Second was Daniel H at 1:48 and third was Johnathon B at 2:15. Contestants ate a full chicken dinner (with the half chicken replaced by chicken legs) in a competition for time.

Sons of the Legion Cornhole Tournament Results. Over 18 Division: FIRST PLACE Travis Jess of Piqua and Dustin Hilgard of Houston. 2nd Place Caiden Smith and Peyton Smith of Tipp City. 3rd Place Dominic Bulcher and Cletus Bulcher of Versailles. Under 18 Division: FIRST PLACE Asher Ahrens and Simon Broering. 2nd Place Ian Bergman and Nolan Shardo. 3rd Place Emerson Shardo and Delia Broering. Congratulations to all and a note of appreciation to Coach Mescher and the Versailles Sons of the American Legion Post 435 for organizing the tournament.

The Grand Parade offered approximately 100 units and ran smoothly under the leadership of Caleb Hemmelgarn and organization volunteers from the Versailles Fire Dept. Winners were: Junior Civic: Busy Beavers, Senior Civic: Towne & Country Players, Commercial: Community Lanes, Theme Award: Versailles Winery, Queen’s Trophy: Minster Oktoberfest, Mayor’s Trophy, Versailles Youth Sports and Chairman’s Choice Antoinette.

Poultry Days 5K results can be found at https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Versailles/POULTRYDAYS5K. The overall winner was Tony O’Connor from West Chester Ohio with a time of 16:25 followed by Brooks Blakely from Versailles at 16:47 and Aaron Hemmelgarn from New Bremen at 16.53. Gretchen Mills at 20:09 followed by Ellen Peters of Versailles at 20:37 and Meridith Barga at 20:57. Congratulations to all 382 runners.

The board wants to congratulate the 2023 Miss Chick Isabel Rawlins and her court, Katelyn Conway, first runner-up from Greenville and Kira Cheadle, second runner-up from Versailles. Isabel won the competition after a tie which hasn’t occurred in at least two decades. Isabel is the daughter of Keith and Jennifer Rawlins and is a recent graduate of Versailles who will be attending Wright State University. Miss Chick and her court strolled the grounds making appearances at events and traveling to the Ultimate Fields to select their “Mr. Clucks.” Miss Chick’s Mr. Cluck is Chris aka Wildcat from Toledo and residing in Texas. Wildcat danced, sang and performed tricks to woo Miss Chick. Together with Little Miss Poultry Days, they will spread the “Chicken Love” ahead of the 73rd festival. The “chicks” first official appearance will be the parade at the North Star Picnic parade to be held July 16.

Evelyn Sutter of Greenville became the 39th Little Miss Poultry Days. The daughter of Matthew and Sarah Sutter, Evelyn won among 25 young ladies from New Weston, North Star, Brighton Michigan, Yorkshire, Statesboro Ga, and Versailles. The first runner-up is Alexis Kiehl and second runner-up is Scarlet Barton, both of Versailles. Her court is 1st Runner Up- Alexis Kiehl- daughter of Zach & Troy Kiehl and 2nd Runner Up , Scarlet Barton- daughter of Matt & Emily Barton.

Thirty-two teams competed at the Poultry Days Ultimate Disc Tournament ran by Oshadega. The winning team was Kotecki Fried Chicken from Cleveland. License plates were spotted from Colorado, Canada, and California as the festival continued to draw from across the country. The Atlanta Soul came out victorious over the Columbus Pride 23 to 19 in the Premier Ultimate League match held during the festival. A group of friends from Versailles and Ansonia organized the first Poultry Days Ultimate Frisbee Championship in 1983. Congratulations Kotecki on the win and to Oshadega for another successful tournament.

2023 Kiddie Tractor Pull Champions! The Kiddie Tractor Pull went on at the festival despite steady Sunday rain. The winners are 3&4 Division: FIRST PLACE Trey Brandewie from Houston with a weight of 140lbs. 2nd Leo Richard of Versailles and 3rd Grayson Wilson of Greenville. 5&6 Division: FIRST PLACE, Harvey Trostel of Versailles with a weight of 180lbs. 2nd Jonah Schmitmeyer of Versailles and 3rd Albert Schmitmeyer of Versailles. 7&8 Division: FIRST PLACE Samuel Beisner of Versailles with a weight of 200 lbs. 2nd Jorja Baker of Union City and 3rd Everett Thieman of New Weston.

The committee thanks the volunteers and sponsors. While there are too many to list, they want to acknowledge a few sponsors including Kings Command Foods. Homan Inc/Vencomatic Group, PEPCON, Groff Mowing and Lawn Care, Fitness Doctor, Greenville National Bank, Weaver Eggs and Bruns Animal Clinics. Dick Lavy Trucking, 1984 Creative, Phelan Insurance, North Star Hardware & Implement, Classic Carriers, Stillwater Valley Golf Course, Bob Dress Construction, HydroVac, Teach Me Pharm and Lane 19 Patio/Community Lanes.

As the festival wraps up the board will repair equipment, recruit members and plan festival improvements. If you have ideas for the festival, theme or honorary parade marshal please email [email protected]. If your organization or business would like to become involved, please contact us. The 73rd annual Versailles Poultry Days is planned for June 14-16, 2024. Always the second full weekend in June. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Serving up summer fun since 1952.

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