Forecast dampens annual Chick-fil-A event

Published 9:17 am Friday, December 30, 2016

The Vicksburg community won’t be able to see a giant chicken nugget being dipped into Chick-fil-A sauce this New Year’s Eve.

A virtual guarantee of wind and rain for Saturday evening has forced the local restaurant to cancel its third annual New Year celebration because the event — an outdoor event — traditionally features inflatables, activities, fireworks and, of course, the dropping of a large chicken nugget as a new year arrives.

“Unfortunately just with some of the activities that we had, such as the inflatables and things of that nature, they’re not well suited for rain and storms,” Vicksburg Chick-fil-A marketing director Alvin Foster said.

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Foster said he had looked at the forecast Tuesday and it had shifted since the last time he checked from sunny to stormy. After speaking to the other event partners — Bouncy Feet, Slipin Sliden Waterslides, United Rentals, Crossway Church and Elevate Church— the group came to a consensus Wednesday to cancel the celebration.

“We felt it best to, unfortunately, as sad as we all are, cancel this event,” Foster said. “We wanted to do it a few days in advance just because it gives the partners that were assisting us time to make changes and they’re not working towards doing something that isn’t going to happen.”

This would have been the fundraising event’s third year in Vicksburg.

The nugget drop is free, but the restaurant sells wristbands for access to the activities to raise money for WinShape Camp sponsorships.

WinShape Camp is a summer camp for boys and girls started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy and his wife Jeannette.

At the culmination of the night’s family-friendly activities, a 6-foot Chick-fil-A nugget, made of cement, is lowered by crane into a container of replicated Chick-fil-A sauce in the same fashion the ball drops in New York City to count down the final seconds into the new year, and is followed by a spectacular round of fireworks.

Foster said it was important to all parties involved to have an event go off without a hitch and to raise as much money as possible for the camps, which they did not feel would be possible in the predicted weather.

He said Chick-fil-A may host a similar event in the coming months to raise funds for WinShape Camp, but no specific event or date had been planned as of yet.