In 1954, the Village of Delta announced its intent to purchase 23 acres for the community. The Aetna Grange led fundraisers, donations, and a kick-off dinner to raise the $10,000 needed to purchase the park within 10 months, establishing the Delta Municipal Park in 1955.
Shortly after, the “Recreation Council” also known as "The Happy Hearts Council" was established to promote the park and drum up financial support for park maintenance. They started the Delta Chicken Festival in 1956 (which was then called The Delta Homecoming) and raised $2,593.66 that first year. They grilled 900 locally harvested chicken halves over an open pit on Main Street. They blocked off the street and had amusement rides, concession stands, and a parade, not much different from how we know the festival today!