Chicken & Bread Days Heritage Festival

Chicken and Bread Days Heritage Festival logo 2022 flattenedEvent Overview

The 28th Annual Chicken and Bread Days Heritage Festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The reoccurring first Saturday in October event continues to pay tribute to the history of the community.

As the history is told, Amon G. Carter would sell chicken and bread sandwiches to the passengers stopped at the train depot. However in 1908, an ordinance was passed forbidding the young men from peddling around the depot – ending the tradition. This didn’t end the chicken business.

Mose Johnson didn’t realize he would be creating a legacy for this community when he and his wife, Mabel, began their journey with just $15 and a shoebox full of baby chicks. The first “Mammoth Incubator” with a 6,000 egg capacity in Texas was started. The M. Johnson Poultry Ranch went on to become the breeders of the World’s Best Laying Strain of Single Comb White Leghorns covering 350 acres (where North Central Texas College campus is currently located).

Therefore, Bowie had a World’s largest chicken ranch before the World’s largest knife. That is quite a history.

With this pioneering spirit, the tradition of Chicken and Bread Days Heritage Festival was hatched.

A preview evening chicken-themed Sip & Stroll begins Friday, October 6 downtown starting at 5 p.m. Look for more on participants in future promotions and signs.

Beginning Saturday morning will be the traditional fiddling talents. The Chicken and Bread Days Fiddler’s Contest is an approved Texas Old Time Fiddlers’ Association Contest. There is no entry fee, but one must be a TOTFA member to compete.  Membership applications are at or at the contest. Registration opens at 9 a.m. at the fire hall at 203 Walnut Street.

With the tunes filling the air, classic and antique vehicles will be on display for the Piston Heads Auto Club show. Special awards in six various divisions to be given. Dash plaques go to the first 100 entrants. Entry forms are at

Bowie Community Development is really expanding the footprint of this event. An Art Exhibit, sponsored by the Bowie Alliance for Education and the Arts, has moved and will be in the Bowie Public Library at 301 Walnut Street. Artwork – painting, photography, three-dimensional, and paper works – can be delivered on Thursday, October 5 or Friday, October 6 between noon and 6 p.m. The awards reception will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

Live entertainment and dance performances will continue throughout the day. Enjoy the pumpkin patch for the perfect fall photo backdrop. Along with a Kids’ Coop with plenty of inflatables for fun and excitement with all day passes for just $5 per child. Games for 12 years and younger include egg toss and pumpkin sweep races. Winners will receive prizes.

Heritage Market includes many wonderful craft and food vendors – yes, chicken and bread too – vendor locations are still available.  Contact Cindy at Bowie Community Development at or find forms on Facebook: Bowie Community Development Board. Appreciation is extended to all of the sponsors and volunteers supporting this annual event.

NEW this year will be a Chicken and Bread Days BASS Tournament on Sunday, October 8, 2023 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Amon Carter Lake Selma Park Boat Ramp. See rules and registration in below documents. 

Chicken and Bread Days Heritage Festival Quick Glance Guide

  • Date: Saturday, October 7, 2023
  • Location: Downtown Bowie 
  • Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Features and activities:  
    • Heritage Market and Vendors
    • Piston Heads Auto Club Antique and Classic Car Show
    • Live Musical Entertainment and Performances         
    • Fiddler's Championship Contest, approved by the Texas Old Time Fiddlers' Association (inside Bowie Fire Department located at 203 Walnut Street) 
    • Food Trucks and Vendors
    • Kid's Coop Inflatables, Games, and Prizes
    • Art Show and Competition, sponsored by the Bowie Alliance for Education and the Arts (Bowie Public Library located at 301 Walnut Street)
  • Chicken and Bread Days BASS Tournament
    • Date: Sunday, October 8, 2023
    • Location: Amon Carter Lake, Selma Park Boat Ramp
    • Hours:  7 a.m. - 2 p.m

To register as a vendor please fill out the two files below... Chicken and Bread Days Saturday, October 7

2023 Chicken and Bread Days BASS Tournament Sunday, October 8

2023 Art Exhibit Bowie Alliance for Education and the Arts for Saturday, October 7

2023 Piston Heads Auto Club show for Saturday, October 7

Chicken and Bread Days
Chicken and Bread Days Heritage Festival