The calendar was turned back to 1869 for the annual Madison Business Expo & Kids Day.
The Hogan YMCA was transformed into the Madison Station Depot as 65 Madison businesses demonstrated products, provided information and, of course, had treats for the kids.
Food trucks served up anything from barbecue to ice cream, coffee and pizza. A moving garden train choo-chooed its way along the tracks … all in preparation for the great “Chicken Caper.”
According to the Madison Chamber of Commerce’s version of the legend, business would get slow for shopkeepers in Madison Station during the dog days of summer.
“Chickens are birds and can fly a little, so no chickens were hurt while throwing them off the roof in 1869,” said Pam Honeycutt, the Chamber’s executive director. “It was a very innovative and effective advertising tactic back then but, probably not a good idea today.”
After putting their collective heads together, event organizers decided a more contemporary re-enactment was needed.
With cooperation from the Madison Fire Department, businesses attached coupons to the spindly legs of five dozen rubber chickens. Firefighters then dropped them from their aerial ladder to the crowd.
“We still managed to have fun, give away thousands of dollars in products and services, while creating a contemporary ‘Chicken Caper’ of our own,” said Honeycutt. “All the feedback, so far, has been very positive and the participation and support from our Chamber members is outstanding.
“That is what makes the Madison Business Expo & Kids Day so popular every year – we have a growing and thriving business community in Madison and we are here to celebrate it!”