Chicken Shack aims for another sellout at fair
JACKSON, Tenn. — The Chicken Shack, a fair staple in West Tennessee, is working hard to fill your cravings.
Early in the morning, the West Tennessee State Fairgrounds are quiet and empty.
However, long before they open the gates to the public, one group is working hard to prepare a local favorite fair food.
“The kids that come into the pit, they start every morning around three, between three and 3:30. It’s a team effort. A lot of a lot of people put in a lot of effort to make the Chicken Shack go, and we’re really thankful for all the kids that come out and all the adult volunteers,” said Jessica Carter, Daytime Chair for the Chicken Shack.
For 59 years, many fair-goers have looked forward to the 4-H Chicken Shack’s chicken and pork chops.
Kids and volunteers buss tables, serve food and drinks, and work in the chicken pit to raise funds for the Madison County 4-H Center.
“I think not only is this just a huge family affair, it’s a big community thing. A lot of my friends, we still have contact to this day and talk about the memories that we made working in the pit flipping chickens, singing songs to the top of our lungs on Saturday morning,” said 4-H volunteer Katlyn White.
The 4-H kids start the Chicken Shack at a young age, and some continue to work for generations.
“Just two days ago was my first day, starting 4-H and starting Chicken Shack. And I’m really excited about doing it,” said 4-H member Lydia Ralph.
“My dad started in 1970. You know, he was with Chicken Shack for 47 years before he passed away. So that’s long. That’s a big accomplishment, but before then he’s the only one that’s been here that long. I grew up in it. I remember as a four-year-old,” said Harrold Cothran, Pit Boss for the Chicken Shack.
The Chicken Shack hopes to continue to sell out of chicken and make new faces familiar ones.
“Some people asked me why do I do this. I said I don’t know better. I grew up in it. But as I get older, I see what the benefits are. That is what counts. You know, the money coming in to help the programs so we can become, and still become the best county 4-H in the state of Tennessee. That’s our focus,” Cothran said.
This year you can order online to pickup or deliver.
A West Tennessee Fair favorite is aiming for another sellout. The 4-H Chicken Shack.