Welcome to the Web Page of the

64th Manchester Chicken Broil!
Manchester, Michigan

Thursday, July 20, 2017

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM









1.  There is a drive-through carryout line for the Chicken Broil. The entrance is on Duncan St. at Hibbard St., with service on Wolverine St. next to Alumni Field. See the drive-through map here. We have added a second carry-out dinner production line this year to improve traffic flow.

2.  You can also visit us on Facebook at "Manchester Chicken Broil", or https://www.facebook.com/chickenbroil

3.  View photos from the Chicken Broil at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/krfoto/albums/72157634701533161/page1.   Photos courtesy of Karl Racenis.

Where Can You Buy Tickets?

Advance ticket sales are available at the following locations:

Tickets are $ 9.00 if purchased in advance at these various merchants and offices, and $ 10.00 if purchased at the gate the day of the Chicken Broil.

Bridgewater - Bridgewater Depot, Chelsea Lumber Co./Bridgewater 

Chelsea - Key Bank, Chelsea State Bank-North, Chelsea State Bank-South, Gary's Barber Shop, TCF Bank

Grass Lake - Comerica Bank

Napoleon -
 Comerica Bank, Napoleon Lawn & Leisure

Saline -
TCF Bank

Area - Ash Auto, Fredonia Grocery, Linda’s Diner, Manchester Feed & Supply, Manchester True Value Hardware, Wacker’s BP, Hungry Wolf Restaurant, United Producers

Downtown - Comerica Bank, Frank’s Place Restaurant, Gistinger & Gistinger Law Office, Keith’s Barber Shop, Manchester Market, Manchester Pharmacy, Manchester Village Offices, Marti’s Salon, Pyramid Office Supply, Sutton Agency, Old National Bank, Village Tap, River Raisin Antiques and Mercantile

For any general questions concerning the Chicken Broil, or to volunteer to help at the event, contact Michael Tindall at 734-320-2620

Information on handicapped parking

Handicapped parking for the Chicken Broil is available in the paved parking lot behind the Ackerson School Administration Building at the corner of Vernon and Wolverine Streets (across the street from the main entrance to Alumni Memorial Field). While those streets are blocked off, the Sheriff's Deputies on duty will allow access.

To view the history of Manchester Chicken Broil profits, and their allocation to community projects and organizations, click here.

Chicken Broil merchandise (T-shirts, hats, polo shirts and mugs) will be available at Manchester Pharmacy prior to the day of the broil, and also at the Alumni Field on the day of the broil, July 20.

For an interesting reminiscence on the Manchester Chicken Broil by Scott Westerman, please visit this link http://scottwesterman.com/?p=660.

What and When is the Chicken Broil?

The annual Manchester Chicken Broil will be held Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Alumni Memorial Field in beautiful Manchester, Michigan, just 15 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. This long-time civic event is considered the largest event of its kind, serving approximately 10,000 meals in a four-hour period. Net proceeds from this event are used to benefit a variety of causes in the Manchester area, including the public schools, community parks, library and local civic organizations. Funds from the Chicken Broil proceeds for 2006 and 2007 were used to help construct the Barnyard playground structures and children’s area redevelopment at Manchester’s Carr Park, in conjunction with the Village Parks Commission, the Manchester Village Council, and several other fund-raising organizations in Manchester. Funds from the 2008 - 2010 Chicken Broils were allocated for equipment repairs, Boy Scout Troop equipment, Manchester Middle School playground equipment, and High School band uniforms. Funds from recent years have been applied to downtown Christmas season decorations, and for major renovations to the Kirk Park ball diamonds, infrastructure and children's playground equipment associated with our youth baseball and softball leagues. Funds from the 2016 Chicken Broil are being applied to renovations and repairs at the Kingsley-Jenter House Community Meeting Place, hosted by the Manchester Area Historical Society. The 2017 Chicken Broil proceeds will be used to construct new ticket booths at the High School football field, and to provide support for the 2017 Manchester Sesquicentennial celebration.

We pride ourselves on providing a delicious chicken dinner complete with ˝ chicken, roll with butter, fresh made cole slaw with secret local recipe, radishes, chips and beverage. Additional soft drinks, water and ice cream are available as extras. Entertainment and lots of camaraderie are provided for your enjoyment! An antique car show is included. All for a ticket price of $ 10.00 at the gate ($ 9.00 advance purchase at various merchants and offices - see detailed list above)!

For take out orders of 20 or more, please call 734-428-7722. This is the phone number of the Manchester Community Resource Center, which coordinates requests for large take-out orders for the Chicken Broil.

              Entering the Manchester Chicken Broil
        (Photo courtesy of Marsha Johnson Chartrand)

Where in Manchester is the Chicken Broil?

The Chicken Broil is held at the Alumni Memorial Field in the Village of Manchester. There will be plenty of free parking and courtesy shuttle buses to bring you to the Alumni Memorial Field entrance. Signs will be abundant, and, on the day of the event, there will be no mistaking where to go to find the Chicken Broil! Shuttle buses will operate from the Manchester Middle School at 710 E. Main Street.

A drive-through carryout line was new for 2014! Enter from Hibbard Street onto Duncan Street, then travel west to Wolverine Street for pickups. See the map for details.

Manchester can be reached from the north by exiting I-94 at the Chelsea-Manchester exit (Exit 159), and traveling south on M-52 about 12 miles. Signage to the Alumni Memorial Field will also be posted. Alternatively, Manchester can be reached by traveling Austin Road west out of Saline or east out of Napoleon, or from the south by taking M-52 north from the Clinton and Tecumseh area.

             Location of Manchester


The Alumni Memorial Field is east of downtown Manchester, in the area of this map
bounded by Duncan, Vernon, Wolverine and Torrey streets. The entrance is on the
southwest corner of the field (intersection of Vernon and Wolverine).


The Manchester Chicken Broil is organized and run entirely by volunteers from the Manchester community area, traditionally primarily men, some of whom have served for over 60 years continuously! The various committees and volunteers consist of such specialties as: Firemen, Chicken on Grids, Chicken to Pits, Charcoal Pits, Chicken Testers, Chicken to Serving Table, Cole Slaw and Take Out. Approximately 250 men work on these committees. The processes are efficient and carefully timed to ensure a smooth flow of 10,000 dinners in four hours (about one meal every second!).

A special Weather Committee composed of all the local clergymen ensures good weather for the Chicken Broil!

  Specially designed cooking racks and pits ensure a good flow!                    
  (Photo courtesy of Karl Racenis)

The cooking committees are supported by about 300 men and women in eighteen other committees, serving a variety of food, beverage, take out, transportation and public services.

         Cabbage slicing for the famous secret recipe cole slaw.


Entertainment for the 2016 Chicken Broil was provided by Bille Lewis and Soulbacks 4, playing music during dinner. WLEN-FM 103.9 from Adrian will be broadcasting live from Alumni Field from 3-5 PM during the Chicken Broil.

A typical Manchester Chicken Broil consumes:

  • 19,000 lbs chicken
  • 9,600 lbs charcoal
  • 256 lbs butter plus 14,000 butter pats
  • 48 22-oz containers of salt for chicken and dressing
  • 1,100 lbs radishes
  • 14,000 dinner rolls
  • 40 gallons of vegetable oil for dressing
  • 84 crates of cabbage
  • 14,000 1-oz. potato chip bags
  • 500 aprons and gloves

              (Photo courtesy of Karl Racenis)

Other Activities

While at the Chicken Broil, check out the Classic Car Show.

A Brief History of the Chicken Broil

To understand how the Broil came into being in Manchester, one needs to look briefly at the world of the 1950s. We were a simpler, more isolated small town with a higher percentage of adults who had grown up here. Most folks knew almost everyone they met on Main Street. Stores stayed open on both Wednesday and Saturday nights until 10:30 and people saw a lot of each other there. On Thursday afternoons, the businesses closed and many gathered for an afternoon of golf in the summer months. When a merchant died, stores closed out of respect during the funeral. Most of the townsfolk attended a local church each Sunday where weekday associations again could be strengthened.

These intimate and friendly relationships became a powerful force binding the base group together, greatly simplifying how decisions were made. There wasn’t much need for extended planning sessions or think-tank groups when everyone knew what should be done to attack a problem in the community, and the group involved was small enough to include all concerned. These same powerful qualities were present in the service clubs of Manchester in the 1950s. One of them, the Exchange Club, contained local business men and met regularly to carry out its mission.

The Exchange Club was to become the primary mover in the development of the Manchester Chicken Broil. These successful business men understood how to make decisions and get things done effectively. Among them were a hatcheryman and feed mill operators who had memberships in poultry associations including representatives from the Poultry Division of the State Agricultural College in East Lansing, Michigan. A primary objective of the poultry association was the increased use of chicken to stimulate their businesses.

      Diners enjoy their chicken meal!

Dr. Howard Zindell, Poultry Division, Michigan State College, developed a new method of cooking chicken. J. M. “Mac” Moore and Harry Hathaway, from MSC, were also interested in this new method. Chicken halves were slowly barbecued over charcoal and basted with butter (another agricultural product) just before serving. Since there were no commercially made cookers then, fifty-five gallon drums were cut in half lengthwise to hold the charcoal and then fitted with legs. Special grids were built to cover the cooking areas, and then later modified to make turning them easier so the chicken halves wouldn’t fall out. The process and equipment were shared by the college, and available staff members came out to communities like ours for demonstrations and consultation. Farm TV programs like WPAG-TV aired demonstrations of the process to inform viewers, and articles about broiling chicken appeared in farm magazines.

This method of cooking chicken was tried in neighborhood groups around town, many of whom built their own cookers. It was also tried by the Exchange Club membership to test the system as well as to develop methods to serve larger groups. The Club came to realize that chicken barbecues might be used as fund raisers.

Hence, the first Manchester Chicken Broil was held August 12, 1954. About 2000 meals were served that first broil, and net profits were $ 1,075.00, used for the Athletic Field fence.

(Excerpted from Manchester Chicken Broils: Celebrating 50 Years, published by Manchester Chicken Broil, Inc., 2003)

Visit Manchester While You're Here!

While at the Chicken Broil, be sure to visit our picturesque town located on the River Raisin, and enjoy the many shops and attractions within walking distance of the Alumni Memorial Field.

For an overview of tourism attractions and other activities in Manchester during your visit, see the Manchester Tourism web site at www.manchestermi.org. For various businesses and non-profit organizations, see the Chamber of Commerce web site at www.48158.com.

          Downtown Main Street - The Village of Manchester

          The River Raisin in Downtown Manchester

Manchester Chicken Broil Co-Chairmen: Michael Tindall and Gary Bross

Certain photos and information courtesy of Manchester Chicken Broil, Inc., P. O. Box 148, Manchester, MI 48158.

Manchester Chicken Broil web site design and maintenance by Ray Berg, rayberg@att.net.

Updated: June 27, 2017