When we reached the US border crossing, the conversation with the customs agent went as follows:

Agent: Where are you headed?
Us: Frankenmuth.
Agent: Great chicken!

Frankenmuth is a typical midwestern American small town. Why do thousands of tourists visit the town every year?

A marching band in the parade

Frankenmuth is perhaps the major party center of eastern Michigan, hosting four major festivals each year. We planned our visit to coincide with their Bavarian Festival, which takes place in the middle of June. The customs agent said that he was heading to Frankenmuth himself later that weekend!

Child picking her pretzel

The main highlight of the festival is the parade on the first Sunday. For an hour and a half, dozens of floats, marching bands, and various performers parade down the main street to entertain thousands of visitors.

US veterans in Bavarian Festival parade Uncle Sam

So how was the chicken? At one of the big restaurants, one of us had the "Frankenmuth-Style" chicken. A half hour after the meal, it resulted in a mad dash to the washroom!

The chicken looked and tasted fine, but it seemed very much like the kind of chicken you can make in your own kitchen using a common preparation you buy in a supermarket. Most North Americans will recognize the style of chicken. It's made by shaking a piece of chicken in a plastic bag and then baking it.

The worst job on the parade