Community Gems: The Rooster Crow

If you’ve ever wanted to be judged for how well you can crow like a rooster, this is your year 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.

Rooster Mural in Rogue River

Sixty-nine 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 a small fee 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? Clear your calendars for a weekend of festivities, kicking off June 24, 2022, and prepare to experience one of Southern Oregon’s idiosyncratic traditions.

Additional Sources:

City Of Rogue River (2018). “Rogue River Rooster Crow.”  Website: https://cityofrogueriver.org/2-uncategorised/551-rooster-crow

 

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