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The Big Chicken: Marietta's Quirky Landmark with a Story to Tell


The Big Chicken: Marietta's Quirky Landmark with a Story to Tell

In the heart of Marietta, Georgia, stands a landmark so unique and beloved that it has become more than just a point of interest; it's a community icon. The Big Chicken, a 56-foot-tall steel structure designed to resemble a chicken, is not just a piece of architecture but a symbol of Marietta's charm and history. In this blog, we delve into the story behind The Big Chicken, exploring how this unusual landmark captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

A Brief History
Originally constructed in 1963 for Johnny Reb's Chick, Chuck, and Shake, The Big Chicken was part of a restaurant franchise. Its design, featuring a moving beak and rolling eyes, was meant to catch the eye of passersby on the busy intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road. However, it wasn't until the structure was rebuilt after storm damage in the 1990s that it cemented its status as a Marietta icon.

More Than a Landmark
The Big Chicken has transcended its original purpose as an advertising gimmick. It has become a navigational landmark, with locals often giving directions based on its location. No matter how sophisticated our GPS systems become, “Hang a left at the BIG CHICKEN” or “Go past the BIG CHICKEN” is part of our routine vocabulary in Marietta.  It's a testament to the structure's prominence in the community's identity. The Big Chicken is also a popular meeting spot and a backdrop for countless photographs, making it an integral part of Marietta's social and cultural landscape.

The Big Chicken Today
Now part of a KFC restaurant, The Big Chicken underwent a significant renovation in 2017, preserving its classic features while modernizing its facilities. Visitors can enjoy a meal under the gaze of the giant chicken, purchase merchandise, and learn about the landmark's history. The site remains a must-visit for anyone exploring Marietta, offering a quirky and memorable experience.

Community Events and Gatherings
The Big Chicken has also played host to various community events and gatherings over the years. Its whimsical presence adds a unique flair to local celebrations and festivities, further embedding it in the fabric of Marietta's community life.

A Symbol of Marietta's Quirks and Charms
The enduring popularity of The Big Chicken reflects Marietta's appreciation for the quirky and unusual. It's a symbol of the city's ability to embrace and celebrate what makes it different, turning a simple marketing tool into a cherished community landmark.

The Big Chicken is more than just a structure; it's a story of innovation, resilience, and community identity. As a beloved icon of Marietta, it continues to attract visitors and locals alike, serving as a reminder of the city's unique charm and character. Whether you're passing through Marietta or a long-time resident, The Big Chicken is a sight that encapsulates the spirit of this vibrant Georgian city. It’s a MUST-do visit, and as important as Sweet Tea! 

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