The special guest star at Friday’s Animal Video Festival is a chicken.
And not just any chicken. This glamour guy is a prizewinner named Fabio, and he’s at home wearing a bowtie and posing for photos.
“This rooster is very friendly,” said Kelsey Smith, the Lacey Timberland Library librarian who came up with the idea for the festival four years ago.
“He is sweet, fluffy and really gentle,” 10-year-old Cora Shieder of Duvall told the Olympian. In addition to being the bantam cochin’s biggest fan, she’s also his caretaker and the one who w guided him to victory at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, where he was this year’s reserve bantam rooster 4-H champion.
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A chicken is a bit of a departure as a guest at the festival, which each year brings in a live celebrity along with a selection of animal videos curated by Smith, an admitted devotee.
“I like thinking outside of the box with the animals that we feature, since the world of animal celebrities tends to be rather dog and cat heavy,” Smith told the Olympian.
This year’s videos will range far beyond the ever-popular cats and dogs, though of course there will be plenty of those, too.
“You’ll see a tapir, capybaras, sloths, a farting wombat, lots of raccoons and birds and of course some chickens,” Smith said.
Even in these days of designer coops, it’s not common for chickens to be the center of attention.
But Fabio has had plenty of fame, owing to his fair win and an article in the Seattle Times. He even had an elaborate wedding, put on by Cora and her friends.
Friday, Cora and others from the Hoofs N Paws 4H Club in Duvall will accompany a bow-tied Fabio, who’ll be ready for photo opportunities.
Perhaps all this attention is to be expected for a rooster who’s not only personable but also good looking.
“As far as chickens go, we think he is pretty handsome,” said Teresa Opolka, Cora’s mom. “Because he has long feathers he reminded me of a chicken Fabio Lanzoni. We thought it was funny.”
Lanzoni — who’s been called the original male supermodel — is famed for his large muscles as well as his long locks, but his avian namesake is not known for his musculature.
“Fabio is not very athletic,” Opolka said. “He’s more of a sit in your lap and cuddle kind of chicken.”
He’s earned Cora’s love, for sure. Asked if she considers the champ to be her pet, she responded, “Yes, but really more of a family member.”
Animal Video Festival
What: The fifth annual festival spotlights new trends in animal videos and a long-feathered chicken named after supermodel Fabio Lanzoni.
When: 7-9 p.m. Friday
Where: Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College Street SE, Lacey
More information: 360-491-3860, trl.org
Watch: Here’s a selection of videos from festival curator Kelsey Smith, who has been enjoying the “What the Fluff?” videos, in which humans do disappearing acts for the amusement of their pets. “The animals’ reactions are really hilarious,” she said.