Pheasant Phever

Pheasant Phever

Pheasant 1

Aberdeen preps for the 2017 Rooster Rush

Each year Aberdeen pulls together to welcome in the pheasant hunting season. Our Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) participates each year in a State Tourism competition called “Rooster Rush.” The contest is designed to engage as many businesses, citizens, and visitors as possible to make the hunting season a more memorable experience. For three years in a row, the Aberdeen CVB has won the Cacklin’ Community Award from the State and hopes to continue the tradition of winning. And everyone can play a part.

Here’s a working list of what the folks at our CVB have planned for Rooster Rush. Check in with the CVB as the season draws closer to see what more might be happening.

GYPSY DAY PARADE – September 30

The CVB will have an entry in the Gypsy Day Parade that will give exposure to Rooster Rush. They will have small flyers to hand out during the parade, (and maybe some candy!) so expect to see a sea of orange!


The CVB will again be making corn shocks and purchasing straw bales to decorate Aberdeen hotels. Tires from previous years with “Welcome Hunters” painted on them in orange will also be utilized as part of the décor. The CVB will provide giant shotgun shells for Aberdeen hotels and local businesses to use as either decoration or entry boxes for giveaways. Rooster Rush “Wing It,” window clings will be available for businesses to add to their windows and doors to promote the event throughout the community.


The CVB will be taking over a Wings hockey game! Hockey fans will be greeted as they enter the arena for chance to win a gift certificate to the Wings Pro Shop. Rooster Rush t-shirts will be thrown out into the crowd during the hockey game. The CVB will entertain and engage the crowd during the intermission between the first and second period along with taking over the digital display during the game. We hope to
turn the Wings hockey game into a major Rooster Rush event!


Young Guns, SoDak Sports, Runnings and Ken’s Shell Express have been invited to be part of the kid’s prize giveaway. Kids will be encouraged to visit all four of these locations to enter for a chance to win a $200 Chamber gift card to be used toward the purchase of outdoor apparel or firearm. Look for the giant shotgun shells just like to the ones in the hotels at these four locations.

AIRPORT RUSH – October 19-20

Over 300 pheasant sandwiches are assembled the night before the rush of airport passengers. Sandwiches are distributed at the airport Thursday and Fridays to those disembarking for hunting adventures. This volunteer effort helps keep Aberdeen’s pheasant sandwich legacy alive. Many of the hunters will be experiencing their first taste of this iconic recipe during this time. All hunters will receive a visitor bag, which includes an Aberdeen Community Guide, Hunting guide, Aberdeen Magazine, contact information for Aberdeen veterinarians, info from bars and restaurants, and a small baggie of dog treats. Hunters will have a chance to spin a prize wheel for their chance to win a t-shirt, hoodie, or a variety of other prizes, and can also sign up to win a Winchester SX4 shotgun, courtesy of SoDak Sports.


CVB staff and volunteers will greet the hunters and guests as they check into the hotels on Friday evening from 3-8 PM. They will be encouraged to register to win a Yeti cooler filled with hunting and Aberdeen items.

LOCAL BEER – October/November

Aberdeen’s own Dakota Territory Brewery will produce a special beer and label in honor of Rooster Rush. This will give the hunters and guests yet another way to get a taste of the Rooster Rush celebration in Aberdeen!


The entire community is invited to help celebrate Rooster Rush – literally! An open house on Thursday, November 2, from 3-7 PM at the historic Milwaukee Depot is planned so that the community can sample a traditional pheasant sandwich. The WWII Pheasant Canteen ladies will be included in the preparation for this event. Coffee, lemonade, pheasant sandwiches and donuts will be served – just as they were during Aberdeen’s WWII era. Actors from Aberdeen Community Theatre will be on hand, dressed in 40s-era clothing to provide a historic atmosphere, along with 40s-era dancers that will provide entertainment. This is a great way to honor the tradition of the WWII Pheasant Canteen, and the unique history that Aberdeen has with the 1940s war effort.


In yet another way to keep the pheasant sandwich legend alive – and to get more involved in Rooster Rush – Aberdeen Magazine is coordinating the first ever Pheasant Sandwich Shootout.

This contest will be held in conjunction with the Open House at the Depot (see above). Entries will be received in two categories: Professional restaurant cooks/ chefs, and individual home “chefs.” All are invited to enter one or two sandwiches. The first being a personal interpretation of the “traditional” canteen recipe (white bread, pheasant, eggs, carrots, onion, celery, relish, mayo), and the second a modern “twist” on a pheasant sandwich of any variety.

With the help of the City Marketing Fund, the Chamber of Commerce and the CVB, winners will receive a cash prize, a traveling trophy, and best of all, BRAGGING RIGHTS!

Stay tuned!

// –Laura Ptacek and Troy McQuillen