Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 4:58AM

Worlds largest topiary chicken under construction in Fitzgerald

By Alyson Shields Reporter

Gainesville may be the chicken capital of the world, but Fitzgerald, Georgia, is honoring their wild chickens with a brand new tourist attraction.

Like Gainesville has the big chicken atop the square, Fitzgerald will soon have a 62 foot tall topiary chicken near their downtown.

"We did a lot of research, … I didn't get some wild hair one day and decide to do this," said Mayor Jim Puckett. He cited towns like Casey, Illinois and Helen, Georgia, who have rebranded their towns into tourist destinations as inspiration.

"All it's supposed to do is draw people to the city of Fitzgerald," he said.

The topiary will be the largest topiary sculpture in the world when completed, which Puckett estimates may be about 10 weeks from now. But it will also be functional.

"It has an Air BNB in it that you'll be able to rent out," said Puckett. He said after media inquiries about the chicken, the interest to stay in the room was tremendous, even with an engaged couple wanting to have their wedding at the chicken.

The chicken design wasn't due to it's immense popularity, but actually because of the town's wild neighbors. 

"Back in the 60s, the Department of Natural Resources were trying to add a gamebird back into nature here in Georgia because the Quail were diminishing and so they were trying to add something else," said Brandy Elrod, Director of Tourism, Arts and Culture. "Well, they added this gamebird which actually is the wild chicken that we have today."

The extra-large chicken sculpture was funded primarily through SPLOST monies, and Puckett said they hope to have construction completed within the next 10 weeks.

Watch the progress on the city's Chicken Cam here.

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Worlds largest topiary chicken under construction in Fitzgerald
‚ÄčGainesville may be the chicken capital of the world, but Fitzgerald, Ga., is honoring their wild chickens with a brand new tourist attraction.
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