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This weekend: Visit the cow-chip-throwing capital of the world

(Courtesy Serge Melki/Flickr)
James Pratt prepares to throw his chip in the 2008 contest, which he won (Courtesy Beaver County Chamber of Commerce)

The annual World Cow Chip Throwing Contest and Cimarron Territory Celebration is a big deal in Beaver, Okla. How big? The town's chamber of commerce proudly displays the cartoon character King Cow Chip on its website.

The contest, in which participants compete to see who can throw a cow chip—for those who don't know, that's dried cow dung—the furthest, doesn't occur until next weekend. Yet this weekend has plenty of pre-contest activities to tide you over. In addition to a chili cook-off and craft show on Saturday, there's a 200-mile "Poker Run" motorcycle race, where cyclists go to five checkpoints in order to make a winning poker hand. The whole community will celebrate during the week with store sales, and art show, and a horseshoe throwing contest, all leading up to the main event next weekend.

The longest throw recorded in 40 years happened in 2001, when Robby Deevers tossed the chip more than 185 feet. Thinking of trying your hand? There's still time to sign up—we suggest the Frisbee-throwing technique, a favorite among competitors.

The weeklong celebration recognizes early pioneers of the Beaver area, along Oklahoma's skinny strip between Kansas and Texas. Cow chips were a fantastic source of fuel for these settlers, who used them to make fires for food and warmth.

Call 580/625-4726 for more info. The event is free to watch; to participate in the contest, you must fill out an application and pay a $20 fee (winners receive an engraved trophy and eternal fame).

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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