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Despite the cancellation of this year's World Chicken Festival, some familiar activities will still be taking place the next two weeks.

Forcht Broadcasting (SAM 103.9 WWEL-FM, Kool Gold 96.7 WANV and WGTG The Wolf) is celebrating the kickoff of what would have been the 31st celebration of the downtown festival by hosting a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation.

The OTG (Old Town Grill) is hosting a karaoke contest on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. Social distancing guidelines will be observed during this event. The "Sings and Wings" contest requires a $10 entry fee at the door and those wishing to participate must pre-register at www.sam1039.com. All proceeds will be donated to the Make A Wish Foundation and will be matched by Old Town Grill.

The following Thursday, Sept. 27, Forcht Broadcasting is offering a day of festivities to commemorate the organization for terminally and chronically ill children by granting them a dream come true.

Travis Shortt, manager for the London radio station, has teamed with various local businesses and organizations to raise money to assist with making a dream come true for children in the Kentucky area by using some revised aspects of the annual downtown festivities.

"We've worked with the Chicken Festival organizers and rather than the large wooden chickens for the Chicken Invasion, we're offering businesses the chance to purchase cut outs of chickens to put up. Since this would be the 31st year of the Chicken Festival, we're offering those for $31 with proceeds going to the Make A Wish Foundation," Shortt said.

The WCF Spirit contest judging will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 23 through Friday, Sept. 25. Shortt said eight businesses will be visited each day, with a winner chosen and announced on Saturday morning, Sept. 26 during the Lindsey Sharp Ceremony. Sharp was an avid promoter of the annual downtown festival and served as Ambassador during last year's event. Sharp died earlier this year from health complications. Tributes to Sharp will also be aired during Thursday's event.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, a day-long event will be held at the radio station, off Tobacco Road in London, and will feature guest speakers such as Lawrence Thayer, the Honorable Kentucky Colonel and sponsored by Wildcat Harley Davidson. The WCF mascots will also be on site at the radio station, which will be transformed into the Chicken Coop. At 11 a.m., a Facebook Live segment will be aired from Sauced Pizza, who will unveil their special pizza commemorating the World Chicken Festival. At noon, the lineup for next year's performers at the Wildcat Harley Davidson stage will be announced, with announcements by the 2021 performers for the Kinetic by Windstream stage.

That evening, Old Town Grill will sponsor a hot wing-eating contest beginning at 7 p.m. Old Town Grill has sponsored karaoke and the hot wing eating contest during the World Chicken Festival for the past several years. This year's event will take place on the patio of OTG, with a $10 entry fee. Old Town Grill will match all money raised for this event. Contestants must pre-register at www.sam1039.com under the "Sings and Wings" section.

"We thought teaming with Make A Wish Foundation would be a great way to have some semblance of the Chicken Festival this year," Shortt said. "We may not be able to have the event of past years, but we are happy to assist the Make A Wish Foundation with their fundraising and we hope the community will join in."

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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