Up to 300 volunteers are needed to help out with one of Chandler's biggest annual community events, the Ostrich Festival, slated for March 12-14 at Tumbleweed Park.
The event, in its 22nd year, celebrates Chandler's history as the one-time leader in ostrich ranching, mainly for the birds' feathers. The festival attracts more than 70,000 people per year and is one of the most-attended annual events in the city.
Most volunteer shifts are about four hours long. Training sessions are slated for 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22 and Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, 25 S. Arizona Place, Suite 201. The application deadline is Friday. The chamber is sponsoring the festival.
This year's event will feature ostrich and pig races, an exotic petting zoo, dog competitions, a monkey show, a husband and wife crossbow act, medieval jousting, boxing, a freak show and three stages of live entertainment. Tumbleweed Park sits southwest of Germann and McQueen roads.
Musical acts include country singer Chris Young, the classic funk band War, and the Phoenix Blues Society. The festival also is expected to include a state-fair-style carnival with rides and food, including ostrich burgers. The chamber expects more than 100 vendor booths, including arts and crafts, and unique gift items.
General admission at the gate will be $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children. Children 6 and younger get in free. Parking will be $5.
A parade and fun run associated with the festival are scheduled for March 6 in downtown Chandler.
Ostrich festival volunteers will receive a free T-shirt, a parking pass, and free general admission to the festival. To apply, call Susan Baker at the Chandler Chamber of Commerce at (480) 963-4571, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ostrichfestival.com.