“When the chips are down, pick ’em up and throw ’em!” That’s the motto of the World Championship Cow Chip Throwing Contest or, as the locals refer to it, Cow Chip, held each year in Beaver, Oklahoma. This year marks the 46th annual contest. The actual cow chip throwing takes place on Saturday, April 18th, at 3 p.m., but of course there is much pomp and revelry during the week leading up to the main event.
This past weekend already saw the chili cook-off, antique tractor pull, golf tournament, and a concert but those events are just the start of the festivities. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 14th, at 6 p.m. you can partake in the Cow Chip Chuckwagon Feed, put on by the First Baptist Church of Beaver at the Beaver County Fairgrounds. There’s more food this Thursday, April 16th, at 11 a.m. when the Cow Chip Hereford Rib Eye Sandwich Feed takes place at Downing’s Market.
What else is happening this week? There’s the annual Golf Bash tonight, an old-fashioned church service Wednesday night, a reception for the parade marshal and queen on Thursday and, later that day, the carnival opens and there’ll be a talent show. Friday will see a hobby and craft show, the start of live musical entertainment, a horseshoe throwing contest, and a show at the Fairgrounds Arena featuring Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey & Friends.
Saturday begins with a 5K run and walk and a kiddie parade, followed by the big Cow Chip Parade. Then, leading up to the main event, you can enjoy a Wild West Shootout, a Coke Can Throw for kids, and some kids games. Following the Cow Chip contest, the festivities will wrap up with a demolition derby and monster truck show and the carnival will close 11 p.m. Saturday night, capping a full week of entertainment.
What about the Cow Chip throw itself? The rules are very specific – each contestant gets two throws. Chips must be at least six inches in diameter. If the chip breaks up in mid-air, the piece traveling the farthest counts. You select your own chip from the wagon but if you alter the chip in any way there’s a penalty. There are men’s, women’s, VIP, and Team divisions, and the longest throw typically travels well over 100 feet (the world’s record is 185 feet, 5 inches)! For more information see the festival website.