Smyrna >KFC Kentucky Fried Chicken
“No offense to the people who think it is a stupid billboard and a horrible eyesore, but I think they're missing the point.”
“Is it a huge, exciting, life-altering experience to see the Big Chicken?”
Embrace the cheese factor!. When I visited newly transplanted family friends when I was a teenager, they drove us by the Big Chicken (which I think was brown then - late 1980s) and told us how people navigated by it and the whole deal. Is it a huge, exciting, life-altering experience to see the Big Chicken? No, but it is great tacky Americana at its best. No offense to the people who think it is a stupid billboard and a horrible eyesore, but I think they're missing the point. It didn't even start out as a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and for them to run with the whole chicken thing is sort of ingenius as a marketing tool - easy to find, creates a buzz... It's silly, just like all other weirdly shaped giant buildings and/or figures (lobsters, pineapples, the tie-dye llama in downtown NYC...). They're meant to catch your eye, and I'd say a 55ft chicken does the trick. Go. Stand outside and get your picture taken. Show it to friends and say, "Yes, this thing actually exists, and it is that freakin' big." Then move on to the next cheesy thing that's a little inexplicable and makes you say, "What the... Stop the car. I gotta know what that is!"
It's a bird! It's a KFC! It's an Atlanta landmark!.
The Big Chicken is the extraordinary sign for a very ordinary Kentucky Fried Chicken in Marietta. In 1963, the owner of a drive-in greasy spoon hatched a big idea. St. Louis could have its arch; New York could keep its Lady Liberty--what Marietta needed was a chicken. And thus Tubby Davis, owner of Johnny Reb's Restaurant, and an egghead Georgia Tech engineering student built the world's first and only postmodern cubist steel chicken. Built with locally milled bars and plates from Atlantic Steel, the 50-foot Big Chicken is still the most recognizable landmark in Cobb County.
Three decades and two owners later, the Big Chicken still rises proudly above Cobb Parkway. Its legacy has spread to the surrounding businesses and streets, each picking up the nomenclature of "Big Chicken this" and "Big Chicken that." After a 1993 storm caused severe damage, KFC considered deboning the Chicken but a public and political outcry saved the bird.
Stupid. Its a dumb chicken type billboard/sign. Not worth even looking at if you drive by it.
A Dud!. We moved to Atlanta a couple of years ago and had heard about the Big Chicken. When we finally saw it we were stunned! How can a classy city like Atlanta think this is something to be proud of?!? Don't waste your time finding this dud.
Freedom Takes Wing. The cultural significance of the Big Chicken can't be overstated. Through war, through the Olympics, through terrorist attacks on American soil, the B. C. has kept Marietta grounded, anchored to the here and now in an ever-changing world. As such, it's nothing less than a symbol of local pride, of man's determination and capacity to sell fried chicken to his fellow man in good times and in bad. The Chicken keeps us abreast of our creator-derived freedoms.
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