World's Largest Skillet
Delicious fried chicken dinners are served from the benchmark feature of the festival — The World’s Largest Stainless Steel Skillet. The skillet is operated by World Chicken Festival volunteers and has served more than 120,000 fried chicken dinners since its inauguration in 1992.
The world’s largest known frying skillet was manufactured by London Bucket Co., Inc. in September 1991, and donated to the World Chicken Festival. The burners and firing system were manufactured by Bakery Machinery, Inc., operated by Rockwell Industries, “Rocky”.
In 1999, a new skillet was constructed, manufactured by Logan Steel and Jeff Williams Welding.
Fun Facts About the Skillet
10 feet, 6 inches in diameter; 8 inches deep; 8 foot handle; and weighs 700 pounds total.
11 gauge, hot rolled stainless steel; divided into four cooking sections; mounted on a steel frame.
Requires 300 gallons of cooking oil to fill. Can cook 600 quarters of chicken at one time.
Cooking 7000 pieces requires about 375 pounds of flour, 75 pounds of salt, 30 pounds of pepper, 30 pounds of paprika, and the World Chicken Festival’s special ingredients.
About 60 gallons of Natural gas (more than an average family would use in a year) are required to cook 7000 pieces of chicken at temperatures between 325 and 350 degrees.
Pavilion Hours & Info
The Pavilion is located at Ninth and Main Streets.
Noon until 10:00 PM
11:00 AM until 10:00 PM
11:00 AM until 10:00 PM
Closed. No Sunday serving hours.
Dinners are served by local volunteers from Souls' Harbor Church as a fundraiser. Drinks are provided by North Laurel High School Girls Softball as a fundraiser.
Fried chicken dinners cost $9.00 per dinner and include 1/4 chicken, potato salad, baked beans and a roll. Chicken snacks are $7.00 and include 1/4 chicken and a roll.
Rides & Games
The World Chicken Festival offers family fun for everyone! Get your thrills and chills on the many “egg-citing” carnival rides and games. The midway features a wide variety of rides to accommodate most levels of thrills that festival goers seek.
From a safe and secure Kiddy Land to the high rolling rides for teens and adults, the midway has something for everyone.
Rides require the purchase of tickets or armbands.
Grand Festival Parade
The World Chicken Festival Grand Parade is held on Saturday at 10:00am during the festival. Grand Parade festivities begins on Main Street in beautiful downtown London, Kentucky. Grand Parade contestants are judged and awarded in the following categories: business; civic-club-organization; religious organization; youth club-organization; and most creative. Awards are presented Saturday night on the Stage of Stars on Broad Street.
The grand parade organizes and begins at 17th and Main Streets, just north of the festival, and ends at Carnaby Square Shopping Center, just south of the festival. In the event of bad weather, officials may delay startup one hour, or cancel without rescheduling. Radio stations will make announcements as well as festival committee over public address system on Main Street. Should weather cancel Saturday’s parade, it will be re-scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
The parade theme for 2016 is Community Pride! If you have any questions about the Grand Parade festivities, or would like to participate, you may call 606-878-6900 or 606-344-1748.
How to Enter the Parade
The application package below includes the parade entry form and the official rules for entry. You must agree to the World Chicken Festival Parade Rules and Regulations when you submit your entry form!
2016 Parade Grand Marshals
Elaine Harris was born in 1952 in Walton, KY. She graduated from London High School in 1970 and from Somerset Community College in 2005. Elaine has been married to Doug Harris, a native of Laurel County, since 1973. The couple has a daughter, Amy Harris, who is the executive chef at Brasabana in Lexington, KY. Elaine was employed for 30 years at Therm-O-Disc until the plant relocated overseas. She has been employed at the London Laurel County Tourist Commission since 2005. She has been involved with the World Chicken Festival many years before becoming employed at the tourist commission. Elaine enjoys hosting family events and working in her woodworking shop.
Peggy Scott is an Illinois native, born in 1949. She graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois. In 1970, she married Doug Scott originally from East Bernstadt and several years later, they relocated to Kentucky. They have a daughter, Dawn Smith and son-in-law, T.W., as well as two grandchildren, Laurel and Graham and one step-grandson, Tucker. Peggy retired from Kmart in the late 90’s and began working for the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission. This is when her love for the Chicken Festival began. She has won numerous awards for her dedication and hard work in assisting to bring tourism to southeastern Kentucky. Although, she retired from the tourist commission in 2012, her involvement has remained steadfast with the World Chicken Festival and she continues to be an integral part of the World Chicken Festival. She has had many roles with the festival throughout the years, including pre-setup, setup, interacting with vendors, and assuring all functions work cohesively for a successful festival each year. In the past few years, you may’ve noticed her camped out behind the skillet in her RV or riding the streets in a golf cart ensuring things are running smoothly during Chicken Festival weekend. Some of Peggy’s other passions include camping, being at the lake, and playing with her grandchildren.
Jeanine Thurston, an Illinois native, born in 1953, graduated in 1971 from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois. Jeanine has been married to Ron Thurston since 1971. They have two sons, Wes and Clayton “Rusty” Thurston, a daughter-in-law, Kate as well as grandchildren-Haley, Andrew, Delaney, and Landon James “LJ” all of Romeoville, Illinois. Jeanine has been employed by the Walmart Corporation for nearly 27 years. She served on the Village of Romeoville Special Events Commission for 10 years prior to relocating to East Bernstadt in 2002. She has been able to apply that experience and knowledge to the World Chicken Festival. Jeanine has maintained many responsibilities at the WCF including monitoring setup as well collaborating with vendors to ensure smooth relations. Her unwavering dedication to the festival helps to ensure all parts work together for a successful festival each year. Some of Jeanine’s hobbies include camping and spending time with family.
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