If you’ve ever wanted to be judged for how well you can crow like a rooster, this is your time to shine. Rogue River is one of Southern Oregon’s smaller cities, but this idyllic “Mayberry” town contains a wide-variety of hidden gems—figurative jewels tucked along the banks of the Rogue River. The town’s annual Rooster Crow, organized entirely by community members, happens to be one of these unique and valuable finds.
Sixty-six years ago, in 1953, the people of Rogue River were looking for “something to put the city on the map,” said city administrator, Mark Reagles. Whether it was their intention to start an ongoing tradition or not, they succeeded. Deemed the biggest weekend in Rogue River, the Rooster Crow is also scheduled to purposefully coincide with the city’s high school class reunions. Up to 10,000 people flock into the town for the weekend’s events. Considering that the city only has around 2,200 residents, this is quite the turnout. The Rooster Crow, made possible by volunteers and generous sponsors, features a downtown parade with anywhere from seventy to one hundred entrants, who can enter the lineup for twenty dollars each and earn their fifteen minutes of fame by waving to the enthusiastic crowds lining the streets. According to former mayor, Pam Van Arsdale, the Rogue River Rooster Crow has the “best small town parade you’ll find anywhere.” Booths line the parks, and food and live music fill the town all weekend long.
Though there are numerous activities for people of all ages, the main attraction is the rooster-crowing competition. Roosters are entered into the event and then judged based on how many times they can crow within a half-hour time period. The owner of the winning rooster receives a cash prize. For those that don’t have roosters to enter into the event, there is a noteworthy human-crowing contest as well. Human contestants are given microphones and are then judged based off of the crowds’ reactions to the often unforgettable noises that follow. In all, the weekend is full of hilarity and community fun.
Interested in this Rogue River event—which boasts free admission to all? Mark your calendars for the weekend of June 28-30, 2019, and prepare to experience one of Southern Oregon’s idiosyncratic traditions.
Thanks to the newest addition to our SOREDI team, our SOU intern, Abigail Skelton, we will continue to feature some of the popular attractions located in our Southern Oregon communities. We consider each one of our towns and cities to be “jewels in the crown” that makes up Southern Oregon. If you have a story idea sparked by an inspiring local attraction, please e-mail our Communications Manager, Codi Spodnik and maybe Abigail will be giving you a call to follow up. If you are a SOREDI Member and you have some great news, please e-mail it to Codi so we can share it in our newsletter.
City Of Rogue River (2018). “Rogue River Rooster Crow.” Website: https://cityofrogueriver.org/2-uncategorised/551-rooster-crow