The impeccable experience of the chicken run

The origins of this long-running Senior tradition, and why it’s a lot more interesting than it may seem


Isaiah Zimmerman

A picture of the titular Chicken sits directly outside of the school building, and next to a pole. The chicken was in a golf cart, prepared and ready to be ran after.

Gullinkambi, Fjaler, and Nameless are the Norse roosters who live in Valhalla, the afterlife for Vikings, and whose crowing signals Ragnarok, foretelling a great battle, submerging the world in water, terrible natural disasters, and from that, two humans would remain, and from there, the world would prosper in society once more, and build anew. Very little is actually known about where this came from first, or why, in specific, the Norse highlighted this as their great event, their own rapture. But nonetheless, this is what it means.
Much is the same for Lake Stevens High School’s own tradition of the Chicken Run. This year’s homecoming, Principal Leslie Ivelia drove a golf cart with a statue from Chicken Drive-In strapped to it, and a crowd of seniors chased behind it, in an ultimate showing of school spirit, and from that…new bonds and memories formed and built anew.
“Honestly, it was exciting, but it isn’t that interesting on the face of it. But like… I guess it’d be best to say, the crowd is a lot more exciting, you know? The shouting of the people around, the fact everyone was hyping each other up, like, that’s pretty cool, and I probably wouldn’t’ve gotten so into it regardless,” sophomore Daniel Larson said.
To the people at this event, they found it incredibly exciting to go and play with everyone else, running after a chicken like Thor after his next meal.
So, how did this Lake Stevens chicken tradition begin? Throughout the school, there is one consistent tale of its origins. Sometime in the 1960s, on a Homecoming night, a group of rowdy seniors stole a chicken statue that used to stand atop the still popular Chicken Drive-in. On their successful thievery, somehow avoiding concerned citizens, any workers nearby, store owners, or anything else of the sort, they brought it to the high school and rushed it across the field during halftime. It became a yearly tradition, and eventually, the statue came under the ownership of a community member, legalizing the tradition for years to come.
And so, next Homecoming, if the opportunity arises, seniors about the game should jump in and chase after their own chicken, their bond, their joys, and celebrate their history with pride. From the cheer of the crowd to the exciting roars of those involved, to those who run alongside those below… It’s an experience like no other. And one that can feel almost intoxicating to partake in.