The races return along with rides, food, attractions and concerts by The Beach Boys, Kool and the Gang and John Michael Montgomery Friday, March 9, through Sunday, March 11, at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler.
“The Ostrich Festival reflects the town’s heritage to its present status as a high-tech corridor,” says Terri Kimble, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer.
The festival recalls early 1900s Chandler, when Dr. Alexander Chandler purchased 80 acres of land south of Mesa in the Salt River Valley and dedicated himself to developing the town and its agricultural irrigation systems.
The doctor kept ostriches for their valuable clipped feathers, which he sold to those in the ladies hat industry. The spectacular birds became a part of the scenery of the growing town until about 1920, when the effects of World War I created a nationwide frugality. The ostriches disappeared from Chandler, but the joy they brought remains.
“There are no ostrich ranches in sight, and the city has since developed into a thriving technological center,” Kimble says. “With the Ostrich Festival, we have fun and educational activities surrounding the city’s historic connection, with the extraordinary and much-loved creature. This festival includes many elements that embrace the values of an ever-evolving community.”
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