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Brush Off Your Inner Chicken and Dance

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

You didn’t have to know Miguel Maldonado to know that, no matter who’s doing the dancing, the Chicken Dance generates lots of silly laughter. But if you knew Miguel, you understand why he requested the Chicken Dance for his memorial service. Being honored posthumously as 49er Festival Parade Grand Marshal for his lifetime of community service, many of those years in the service of the greater Groveland area and Yosemite gateway towns, Miguel was as tall as he was gentle and as wise as he was kind. He is a man who truly knew the healing power of laughter, especially laughter that is shared.

Ready or not, get in touch with your inner chicken (and your inner child if you learned this popular polka in nursery school) and be prepared to wing it at the 49er Festival Parade, sponsored by Chicken Ranch Casino. If you’ve been living under a rock, have never attended a wedding, bar mitzvah, or Oktoberfest, and don’t know the chicken dance, fear not! It’s four simple, repetitive moves that whether danced by two people or a crowd sparks hilarious outcomes and crazy laughter. You’ll laugh so hard, you’ll cry for an encore (which you’ll be able to do at the Yosemite Express booth at the Festival).

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a link to a brief YouTube video. Now you have absolutely no reason not to join all your friends and neighbors to cluck your beaky chicken fingers, flap your wings, wiggle your hind feathers, and clap your hands in honor of a great man. Just skip the part about doing the polka and work the first four moves.

So are you in? Or are you chicken?

PS: There’s still time to get in the act by getting into the Parade. Grab your chicken coop, your red wagon, or your favorite vehicle (motorized or non-motorized), put on your Sunday clothes, and join the Parade. Send an email to for more information and to register for the 2022 49er Festival Parade.

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