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Chickin' Pickin' VI - DE State Fair
A NEW Chickin’ Pickin’ Champ is Crowned at the Delaware State Fair
Defending Chickin’ Pickin’ Champion Jonathan Wagner is edged out in the finals by Kenneth Riddick of Allentown, PA!
(Harrington, DE) Oppressive heat didn’t stop an excited contingent of Chickin’ Pickin’ fans from enjoying the Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ Championship held Friday, July 22nd inside the FREE Entertainment Tent at the Delaware State Fair. Fifteen competitors from across the Delmarva Peninsula and Pennsylvania battled it out for the coveted crown and $500 in prize money. In the end, it came down to three familiar faces and one amazing finish.
Broadcast LIVE on Delmarva’s Froggy 99.9 by morning show hosts Whiskey & Randy, the Chickin’ Pickin’ action was unique to say the least. With a mix of first timers, seasoned veterans and a handful of local celebrities, each five person round featured varying strategies and highlights for the crowd enjoy.
The three preliminary heats finished as one would expect, with reigning champion Jonathan Wagner of Parsonsburg, Maryland advancing from round 1 with a weight of 10 lbs, 10 oz., easily outpacing a couple of celebrity entrants, WMDT’s Morning Anchor Jenn Falsetti and WGMD’s Sports Reporter Andrew Koch. Round two went to Kenneth Riddick, who is a former runner-up in the event and the current Chickin’ Pickin’ record holder at 16 lbs, 9 oz; Riddick of Allentown, Pennsylvania advanced to the finals with a picked weight of 11 lbs, 4 oz. Kenneth also beat out two local media personalities in WBOC’s John Trout and Tony Hurst. Hurst’s 6 lbs, 12 oz. barely edged out weather guru John Trout’s 6 lbs, 10 oz. to claim the Chickin’ Pickin’ Celebrity Title. In the final preliminary heat, three time Chickin’ Pickin’ finalist Chester Wright advanced to finals once again with an impressive weight of 12 lbs.
With the three man finale featuring such talented pickers, it was clear more Mountaire oven roasted chickens were needed to get these guys to the finish line. With empty meat trays in front of them and tables full of cooked birds surrounding them, Jonathan Wagner, Kenneth Riddick and Chester Wright unleashed a whirlwind of meat picking action at the drop of the proverbial green flag. For the entire 5 minute final round, meat was flying, the audience was cheering and one thing was clear, it was going to be a photo finish. When the final buzzer sounded the stage was a sight to behold, meat trays were overflowing and the tables and stage floor were covered in bones and excess meat, which had been picked so feverishly that it missed the contestant’s tray.
First on the scale was Chester Wright, desperately hoping to break through for his first victory. He set the bar at 14 lbs even, the highest total of the day. Next up was Kenneth Riddick, 2nd place finisher at Chickin’ Pickin' V, whose meat tray was overflowing as it was placed on the scale. 16 lbs, 8oz. was the announcement from the scale reader, just missing a new record, but good enough to take 1st place for the moment. Last up was the champion, Jonathan Wagner, the somber look on his face said it all, his 13 lbs, 12 oz. wasn’t going to get it done this time. As the announcement was made, Riddick raised his arms in triumph, his 5 hour drive to participate in the event was validated with a victory, and he would be headed home with a $500 prize and the title of Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ Champion!
"At 100 plus degrees in the shade, it was a hot time at the Delaware State Fair for the Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ championship competitors and the spectators who braved the heat to witness fun in the sun. Speed, agility and hand strength are normally prerequisite attributes for the contestants and this time an added skill, endurance came into play as the 15 competitors battled the oppressive heat and peer pressure to fill the trays with chicken meat. In the end to the cheers of the spectators, it was perseverance and experience that won out for those who had competitively reentered the Pickin’ contest. It is a quality lesson for those who would like to discover the technique and secret to pick and shred a cooked chicken in winning time.
Come on out and try it. You’ll have fun and there’s a good chance you might leave a national title holder and financially happier too.” Roger Marino, Mountaire Farms Corporate Community Relations Director.
For more information on the Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ Championship visit www.mountaire.comor contact Roger Marino at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Chickin’ Pickin’
The Mountaire Chickin’ Pickin’ Championship pits 15 to 20 contestants against one another in a contest of speed, skill and strategy. Each event features four preliminary heats of five competitors each, with our four winners advancing to the finals. In the simplest terms, our winners are determined by who can pick and shred the most meat from our oven roasted chicken(s) in a 5 minute time frame. Contestants have access to an unlimited amount of cooked ‘birds, HOWEVER, they must pick and shred all the meat and skin from a single ‘bird before moving on to a new one. That includes meat from the breast, thighs, legs, wings and back. The picked meat is thrown into a collection tray, which gets weighed at competitions end to determine our winner. Contest judges are on hand to specify when a contestants ‘bird is deemed fully picked, thus allowing them to start a new one. This process will go on for the entire (5) minutes. There can be zero bones or large chunks of meat in the collection tray. Such items will be removed before being weighed.