The Chicken Dance is the official kickoff to Sausage Fest and is held the third Thursday of September, the day before Sausage Fest begins! Students from kindergarten to seventh grade generally compete in groups of two or three, choosing a theme and interpretive dance to perform to the catchy song. Competitors from across the grades are whittled down the week before the finals, until one group is chosen to represent each class. Since it’s so difficult to choose just one group, a runner up group is usually chosen to perform as “exhibition” chickens to warm up the crowd, and you’ll often find some performing on local TV morning newscasts. Celebrity judges help pick the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. The 8th grade class also performs a choreographed dance to entertain spectators. The chicken dance begins around 9:45am when the school Mass concludes.