A man in a chicken suit was arrested for disorderly conduct at this year’s Londonderry Old Home Day Parade on Saturday, August 16, 2014. Reports indicate that the man, 23-year-old Michael Zona, was trying to send a political message by following Senator Jeanne Shaheen along the parade route. It was reported that he was trying to send the message that Shaheen was “too chicken to hold town meetings.”
Kathy Wagner, Chair of the Old Home Day Committee, states that she, along with several others, saw the chicken at the start of the parade route. He was told to leave and his sign was taken away by Rick Mansfield, the parade Chairman, Wagner states. “We then saw the chicken run off and thought it was gone. About 10 minutes later, Rick got a call that the chicken was back in the parade near Senator Shaheen.”
Zona, who acts as the Operations Coordinator for the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, was seen later as the parade approached the high school. Steve Young, School Board Member, saw him running up the pathway while he was in the parade. “We were three or four units behind the Senator. He ran across the road from the fire house side in front of Dan Lekas another School Board Member and I, Dan made a joke about ‘now we know why the chicken crossed the road, to get to the other side of the parade,’” said Young.
Police reported they received several complaints of a man in a chicken suit running in and out of the parade route in the area of the Governor and Senator Shaheen. Zona was warned multiple times to stay out of the parade before he was apprehended. He was escorted from the parade route and was ultimately handcuffed. Wagner added, “The police did a really nice job because I think most of the people watching the parade didn’t even know what was happening, they did it so discretely.”
Zona was charged with the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct, was released on a hand summons, and will appear in court in September. But he still defends his actions. “I believe that Senator Jeanne Shaheen should be holding town halls and I have a First Amendment right to express that point of view,” he was quoted as saying. “I wasn’t bothering anyone. I wasn’t disturbing anyone. In fact, I got a good deal of encouragement from people along the parade route.”
Be sure to listen to the audio clip below of the arrest! Please note, the clip has been edited to remove dead air and unrelated police calls.