Ostrich Festival ready to strut in Chandler - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Ostrich Festival ready to strut in Chandler

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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:01 pm | Updated: 2:47 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

They may not be blessed with beauty or brains, but ostriches know how to draw a crowd. They did it in the early 1900s, when tourists and locals stopped along roadside fields to ogle the herds of gangly birds that Chandler-area farmers were raising for feathers, and they'll do it again this weekend.

They may not be blessed with beauty or brains, but ostriches know how to draw a crowd.

Economy may spur Ostrich Festival attendance

They did it in the early 1900s, when tourists and locals stopped along roadside fields to ogle the herds of gangly birds that Chandler-area farmers were raising for feathers, and they'll do it again this weekend: Chandler's annual Ostrich Festival takes place Friday through Sunday at Tumbleweed Park.

"This year, it's just packed with stuff to do," says Katie Stringham, spokeswoman for the city's chamber of commerce.

Among the new offerings are a 30-minute sea lion show, a motorcycle stunt circus, an Australia-themed show featuring outback animals, amateur boxing, a third stage for 'round-the-clock live entertainment and a demolition derby.

Also new is the festival's parking fee: It's been cut in half from last year's rate of $10. Admission fees ($7-$9) have remained the same, and they still entitle festival goers to all of the attractions; only rides, food, merchandise and game booths will cost extra.

Stringham says organizers were conscious of keeping costs low, especially at a time when many people are sticking close to home for spring break.

The 21-year-old event commemorates the period from 1914 to 1921 when ostriches were big business in Chandler. City founder Dr. A.J. Chandler opened the area's first ostrich farm. Farmers could earn good money for the birds' feathers, which were popular for ladies' hats.

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