Kentucky Fried Chicken opened the doors to its first restaurant in Laurel County, Kentucky in the 1940s with Colonel Sanders at the helm. Since 1989 the World Chicken Festival has celebrated the famed Colonel and the culture surrounding him with parades, midway rides, contests, and of course delicious fried chicken. Home to the Colonel Sanders Museum and the world's largest skillet, this festival is a great stop for any RV enthusiast looking to visit the beautiful state of Kentucky.
Held during the mild month of September, festival-goers will be greeted with a range of musical experiences like bluegrass, country, and rock. There are plenty of contests as well like the Colonel Sanders look-alike, cluck like a chicken, along with several sports competitions ranging from volleyball to 5ks. There is a cross-section of just about everything at this festival with people young and not-so-young being able to enjoy it.
At the World Chicken Festival, guests will find what the event labels, "egg-hibits." There are arts and crafts, artwork, and an array of exciting products that are offered. If you are looking for a great RV trip and love music, chicken, and fun than this festival is right up your alley.
Admission into the World Chicken Festival is free for all participants. Funding for the event comes from a combination of sponsors, midway rides, and vendor support. A long list of businesses and organizations provide support to this festival.
Rides require either tickets or an armband to go on and help pay for most of the cost of the event. What really allows for the World Chicken Festival to happen is the vendors who seek to delight guests with yummy bits of the event's namesake.
Since London, Kentucky, carefully nestled inside Laurel County, isn't near any major cities motorists may encounter a bit of a drive. Thankfully, interstate sections meet beautiful roadways in the surrounding area with most people taking I-75 to get there. Another good route is along highway 80, which bisects just south of the World Chicken Festival grounds. Once in the area, make sure to avoid Main and Broad Street as they are both closed during the festival.
London is a small town and with thousands of people visiting over the course of the four-day event, making parking tight. If you want to avoid paying, try to show up a couple of hours before the event starts. If you do show up late, it's not a big deal as paid spaces typically do not cost more than $10.
There is no official transportation provided by the World Chicken Festival, but sites are set aside for buses and shuttles. Private transportation services are acceptable for your visit as well if routes fit your schedule. Due to the remote nature of the area, public transportation options may be limited.
The event itself does not offer onsite camping, but guests can check for a few RV spots at the London Information Center. This location has free sewage dump station usable by anyone visiting. If you are looking for something a little bit more permanent and with more hookups, there are other spots in the area. Travelers can check with the London-Laurel Tourism Commission to see which locations will offer RV services during the time of the World Chicken Festival.
There are several campgrounds located just south and east of the World Chicken Festival site. There are some spots located in Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park while the rest are privately owned. Hookups and features can vary depending on the grounds, with many of the grounds offering electric, water, and sewage disposal. Some areas even offer free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool. The Daniel Boone National Forest may also provide campers a place to land within an hour or so depending on your chosen route.
The grounds are divided into a few areas dedicated to carnival rides, vendors, and stage performances. Guests with ADA accessibility placards will want to be sure they are visible and ready for use. While pets are not permitted into the festival, service animals are allowed. The use of any equipment like skates, scooters, and so forth are not permitted for safety reasons during the festival.
Weather in Southern Kentucky is still fairly warm even in September. Expect temperatures to often get into the mid-80s during the day. Make sure to pack lightweight clothing, including shorts, jeans, and t-shirts. Because of the high level of humidity, clothing that is breathable such as those made from nylon can make you more comfortable.
If you plan to attend all four days, make sure you have enough packed not only for the event but for any added excursions to the nearby national forest lands or state park locations. Remember to bring cooking implements, rainy day entertainment, and just general comfort items that you might miss. Many of the concerts and contests at the festival are located in grassy areas with fold-up chair or towels permitted to bring.
Prepare to stay protected and hydrated from the late summer heat. Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are a must-have for your time in the sunshine. While there is plenty to drink and eat at the festival, having a bottle of water with you is good when waiting in line or at a concert.
Plan to review the cooking options at your campground as each one can be a little bit different. Many sites in the area allow you to bring a of self-contained cooking unit such as a grill, fire pit, or camping stove as long as it remains supervised. Downtown London is full of all sorts of shops for you to purchase whatever staples you might need.
Locally, you can expect a good mix of fast food and local eateries. Being the homeplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, you better believe there is one in the area for visitors to enjoy. If you're not looking for anything in particular, try taking a drive down highway 80 south of the festival as there is a whole string of restaurants along this path.
As one of the largest festivals in Kentucky, the World Chicken Festival offers are plenty of vendors including carnival contest operators, toys, clothing, and food. At the World Chicken Festival, you'll see all the best in Kentucky's chicken. Some of which are cooked in the largest skillet in the world.
The World Chicken Festival will have security points at the entrances. Weapons and illegal items may be confiscated, or you may be asked to leave. Most RV campgrounds are pretty secure, but make sure you take the proper precautions to lock everything up before you leave your site.
Kentucky sits near the eastern end of the United States along the midline of north and south offering a nice little pocket of nature with all types of weather. Temperatures can fluctuate a bit from the balmy 80s into the comfortable 70s. September is usually notable for being relatively mild when compared to the rest of the year.
There is a first aid station on site, which is sponsored by the local fire departments and area hospitals. In case of an emergency, staff will be able to contact the paramedics to take you off-site to the nearest hospital, with one located just 15 minutes south on I-75 from the festival grounds.