San Pedro’s World-Famous Chicken Drop Moves Location And There is Another…
On my very first night in San Pedro – August 2006 – my friend and I attended the very odd but silly and fun Chicken Drop at what was then The Pier Lounge at the Spindrift Hotel. It’s what every visitor did on Wednesday nights in 2006!
My first blog about it in my first year blogging in 2011: Thursday Night at the Chicken Drop
I remember standing on the beach with all the tourists in town that week, slightly dizzy from what started as a pre-dawn travel day. After the first chicken pooped on the bingo board, it was pitch black – and I thought we should get home…it’s gotta be 10? 11 pm? It was just 7. The sun sets early and fast in the tropics. It was my first “date” with Ambergris Caye and I was already falling in love.
But first, let me back way up and, if you haven’t been to San Pedro yet, tell you what the chicken drop is!
Sometime in the 80s, an expat named Carol opened the Pier Lounge and started the World Famous Chicken Drop. A large grid (like a bingo card) is laid out on the beach – numbers 1 thru 100. At the time, you bet a buck on a square, and if the chicken poops on your number – you won the pot. A volunteer swirls the chicken three times in the air and blows in her butt for good luck – this is required. And the winning number must clean up the chicken mess.
That’s the World Famous Chicken Drop.
But over the last 15 years, I’ve only attended a handful of times. So fun but much of it is novelty….it’s not an event you attend week after week. It was a fun event to bring first-time visitors to the island.
And…in the last couple of years, the event was getting a bit…sketchy might seem too harsh. It just wasn’t my thing. Super loud music and DJ…with what felt like a bombardment of vendors and peddlers, coming at you from all angles. The tiny bar – the old location – just felt way too crowded, had way too little seating and it kinda fell off my list of recommendations.
But now, the World Famous Chicken Drop has moved to a new location where there is much more room – both on the beach by the board, and inside.
See my recent post: Businesses Asked to Move from Spindrift Hotel As Upgrades Are Planned
And though they are just getting going, I think it’s a great move. I attended last Thursday evening and things were just starting up…
The World Famous Chicken Drop is now at Corona Del Mar Hotel, south of town, on Thursdays starting at 6 pm.
Fun fact: When I first did research for visiting San Pedro in Spring of 2006 – Corona Del Mar was the #1 rated hotel on Ambergris Caye on TripAdvisor.
The bar looks great. I was there juuust as it was starting. My best pictures are not taken in the dark.
The board is set up. And the bar manager, the lovely Ada, was walking around selling tickets.
I got five for the “First Drop”. The tickets are $2bzd each – and the pot to win is $100. For now, half the pot goes to the bar. I was told that ultimately when people know that they’ve moved and the crowds grow, the money will go straight to the winner.
The date was just a week off…I didn’t even notice! It was pointed out to me on Instgram.
No worries…most of the time, I don’t even know what day of the week it is much less the date!
The first drop started just after 6pm. Chicken Security brought out the chicken – a different hen is used for each drop to keep things…moving.
And a volunteer from Texas did the swirling and blowing honors.
It didn’t take long for the little lady to do her job – and she dropped on number 16. NOT my number sadly.
(This 8-foot plaster Marilyn Monroe stands just outside the bar – imagine paying to get this shipped to Belize!)
The winner, a man a bit older than me, agreed to give $25bzd of his winnings to a kid willing to clean up the poop. He almost started a fistfight among some local boys!
And I was off. I’ve got an hour drive to make it home…but for those staying around town – or south of town – this is a fun, quirky, oh-so-instagrammable, only-in-San Pedro event. And there are a bunch of things about this new location that make it way better to me…
Here’s what I like:
- They start the Chicken Drops as soon as the tickets are sold out. So that you are not waiting FOREVER for the chicken drop to happen. I remember waiting an hour…more…for the event to start after I got my ticket. (Though if you buy a ticket for the $1000 drop, you’ll have to wait a bit for that event)
- There’s so much more room to stand, to sit, the long bar has lots of seating
- It’s mostly kid friendly. Unless you object to the word: shit. You’ll hear the phrase “shit happens” quite a bit from the DJ.
- They’ve got some great merch – fun t-shirts like the one with the logo and CHICKEN SECURITY on the back. Really cute shirts – this is where the money is!
And one more thing…did I mention that there is another Chicken Drop in town? At Corona Del Mar, they have the World-Famous Chicken Drop at Wahoo’s Lounge on Thursday nights (the one I attended) and at Estel’s Dine by the Sea, they have the Universal Chicken Drop on Friday nights. Who would have thought…the battle of the Chicken Drops?
The previous DJ and MC at the Chicken Drop, Barrington, has trademarked “The Universal Chicken Drop” and plans to take it country-wide! Got chickens, will travel!
The first location is Estel’s – in downtown San Pedro on the beach.
It’s even a different shape board for the narrower beach area.
Madness! Maybe this town is big enough for two Chicken Drops now? I guess we are about to find out!