Wander down almost any street in San Juan Bautista, California, and you will encounter one of the towns’ feathered residents strutting their stuff.
Several hundred feral roosters and chickens have the run of the place. You will find them clucking, perched in trees, nesting in the bushes, pecking in the gardens of the adobes, and wandering in and out of the quaint shops. Basically, they're everywhere!
Accustomed to people, they preen and pose for cameras.
It is a great tourist draw, second only to the town’s historic Spanish Mission (1797). Legend has it that the early priests bought chickens with them, and some escaped into the town. These are the ancestors of the modern day birds roaming the village. This year we were among the visitors flocking here for the annual Chicken Festival.
Festivities included a parade, antique vendors, a crowing contest for the kids, a chicken barbeque, and the crowning of a "Miss Chicken Festival" queen.
Chicken Couture - as modeled by one of the "Miss Chicken Festival" hopefulls.
I came home with lots to crow about!
Sur la route,