Rooster Day looks to draw high-energy bidders

Published 8:39 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

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By Jan McDonald

Special to The Demopolis Times

Lively bidding is expected at the Rooster Day Auction Saturday, April 13.

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With unique and tempting items up for bid, the event hopes to draw enthusiastic buyers. For those who prefer to do their bidding quietly, a silent auction offers dozens of distinctive objects gathered by volunteers with the Marengo County Historical Society (MCHS) and voting by proxy is available on April 6.

The auction starts at 6 p.m. at Lyon Hall. Along with the auction, music and dancing, a great spread of food is available for those who pay the $20 entry fee at the door. Set-ups will be provided.

Jason Windham returns as the auctioneer for the live event, said Kirk Brooker, curator for the MCHS.

The sale celebrates the original rooster auction held in 1919 to raise enough money to build a bridge across the Tombigbee River. Dignitaries and well-known personalities from around the world sponsored roosters. Helen Keller, believing a rooster would be unladylike, donated a little blue hen.

For the first Rooster Day auction in 2016, the first item offered for bid was a live rooster. To add to the fun, a little blue hen – nicknamed Little Helen — was the second item. The hen decided to get into the spirit of the event and laid an egg – which also was auctioned.

The MCHS no longer offers live roosters for bid, but a rooster-themed item is included in the list of articles.

One of the live auction packages that is expected to generate a great deal of interest is a Christmas party at Lyon Hall sponsored by the MCHS. It will include everything from custom printed invitations, decorations, food and drink set-ups to clean up after the party is over. All the hosts must do is address and mail the invitations and show up to greet guests.

Mayor Woody Collins and his wife Joy are offering two other events for bid: a brunch or luncheon for people and a pool party for kids ages 12 and older with cake, ice cream and drinks.

Other action will be for fishing at Soggy Bottom for 10 people; a four-day, three-night stay at Turquoise Place in Orange Beach for up to 10 people, sponsored by Salty Beaches Vacation Rentals; Pop-the-Cork paint party for 12 donated by Brooker and The Mustard Seed, and a history hayride with Brooker as tour guide, beginning with wine and cheese at Lyon Hall and a tour of the home from the grounds to the roof.

Since its inception, Rooster Day has been held to provide funds for the upkeep of Lyon and Bluff Halls, the two historic home museums owned by the society.

“There’s always something,” Brooker said of the homes’ maintenance.

This is the second part of a series of stories focusing on Rooster Day. The final story next week features finding your favorite activity at Rooster Day.