SEK library launching new festival


SOUTHEAST KANSAS — A Southeast Kansas library is bringing the community together to celebrate the attention one author brought to the area.

It’s called Chickenstock and it’s all about celebrating The Chicken Sisters which recently got national attention. The library is working with local businesses and organizations to create 3 weeks of festivities dedicated solely to chickens.

Darcie Scheltz, Books and Burrows Co-Owner, said, “These stories, when they’re told, they remind you of your own history or the history or the history of the area.”

Southeast Kansas has gotten national attention, specifically its chicken restaurants. It all started when The Chicken Sisters, written by KJ Dell’Antonia, became a book club pick by actress Reese Witherspoon.

Bev Clarkson, Pittsburg Public Library Director, said, “The book is loosely based on Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s which are a Southeast Kansas tradition.”

In celebration of this attention, the Pittsburg Public Library wants to do something big.

“We decided that we needed to do something to promote this program and get people involved and so we came up with this idea called Chickenstock, which is like Woodstock, but with chickens.”

For three weeks the library will be hosting chicken themed events to celebrate the attention the book and restaurants have gotten, while getting the entire community involved.

“We are talking with a local bookstore, which we just welcomed into the community, and we’d like to work with the Crawford County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and of course the chicken restaurants, and anyone else that would like to become involved, we would like this to be a true community event.”

People and businesses are already getting excited for what this means.

Darcie Scheltz, Books and Burrows Co-Owner, said, “That’s exciting because we are from a smaller area and sometimes like southeast Kansas. You’re like that’s where we are, that’s where we’re from.”

Bringing a community together through pride of what these restaurants mean to them.

“Southeast Kansas has such a history with the chicken restaurants and everyone has a favorite story about the chicken restaurants, so I think it’s important to involve everyone in the community so they can really feel apart of it,” said Clarkson.

The library is still in the development stages of this event series so if you or your business would like to get involved, you can contact the library directly.

The festivities will start at the beginning of February and end on the twenty first. This will all finish with a zoom Q&A with the author KJ Dell’Antonia.
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