Come on down to The Pavilion East this Mother’s Day weekend for a community celebration of moms and, well, chickens!
The 2nd Annual East Nashville Chicken Chase and Hot Hen Hoedown will take place Friday May 8 and Saturday May 9. Friday tickets benefit the Nashville Clean Water Project and Saturday’s events are free and open to the public. Inside the Pavilion's Greenway will be a Chicken Chase where Chicken “Con-Tenders” race for their chance to win the Golden Egg-cellent Trophy. All of the feathery friends come straight from local backyards in East Nashville. The Chicken Chase also features local food, live music, a kid’s corral, and even a makeshift spa for those special ladies in our lives. Come celebrate Mother’s Day with something unforgettable and continue this newfangled East Nashville tradition!
Continue below for a Q&A with co-founder Kelly Easter as she talks with us about the event’s origins and all of the fun activities that await you.
Q&A with Kelly Easter
Where did the idea for the Chicken Chase begin?
It all began when my business partner Stephanie Jones and I wanted to throw a party for all of the wonderful moms in East Nashville. We sat down at Bongo East with Jack Davis, who produces the Tomato Arts Festival, to figure out what the event might look like. Personally, I had been getting a big kick out of the backyard chicken movement that was sweeping East Nashville. I saw it bring forth a stronger sense of community. Children just love these "chooks" too and their parents would bring them over to teach them about how to care for them and how they help us with our gardens, feed us with eggs, and provide us with endless entertainment. To this day, some of my friends gather for what we call Chicken TV Happy Hour by the coop to have "cooptails.” So, Stephanie, Jack, and I all started on this chicken conversation, and, when we got back to our event and saw the date, we realized it was the same day as Steeple Chase. One of us blurted out, “We should do the East Nashville Chicken Chase!”
What special activities do you have in the works for this year?
This year I am really excited to announce that we have added a petting zoo as well as square dancing! The petting zoo is a great way to introduce kids and kid-like adults to farm animals. These animals are used to people and are well cared for. We also have Fanny's House of Music little chick talent show, the DanceEast howdown, and the Margaret Maddox YMCA’s Kids Corral. The Hot Hen Fashion Show will showcase local boutiques and women from our community. Attendees are encouraged to wear a big fancy hat if they're interested in our big hat contest. The actual Chicken Chase Race, scored by the Nashville Roller Derby Girls, will begin at 2 p.m. and our back yard chickens will compete for the Golden EGG-cellence Trophy. After the race, stay for Chicken Poo Bingo which is a hoot!
What kind of local fun and fare can we expect?
We have some great vendors who will be displaying crafts for sale and our friends at 8 Lavender Lane will return this year as our exclusive food vendor. They have an amazing menu planned with delicious options. Vegetarians, don't worry, they have an amazing dish for you, too. As far as libations, we'll have two bars stocked with anything you could want. A great bluegrass band called Firegrass is performing as well as a square dance team! Our evening music includes awesome local musicians including Jonell Mosser, Etta Britt, Amelia White, and Stephanie Urbina Jones of Mamas Gotta Sing.
What does the Chicken Chase have in store for our mothers?
Glad you asked! The Margaret Maddox YMCA is providing an hour of child supervision in our Kids Corral, so that moms can head over to the Hen Den and get pampered. They can get a chair massage, hand scrub, and enjoy the serenity of the Den while sampling local treats and sipping on a mimosa or other beverage of their choice. The fashion show, we feel, is a great way to honor moms and women from our community. The overall theme of the event is sure to give moms a good time.
How do you scout chickens for the big race?
All of the chicken contenders are from local backyards here in East Nashville. Some owners reached out to us through our website, and some we found by our Chicken Wrangler, Meagan, who put in a few calls to her chicken owning friends. The prize is a beautiful Golden Egg-cellence Award Trophy. All participants will go home with a pretty chicken medallion, if nothing else. It's going to be fun!