Chandler’s namesake, Dr. A.J. Chandler, was one of the biggest ostrich ranchers in the Valley, according to the Chandler Museum. At one point, he owned 550 ostriches; but by the early 1920s, due to a drop in demand for feathers, very few ostriches remained in Chandler, according to the museum. The feathers were often used in hats and other garments that signified high status.
In 1988, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce board of directors came up with the idea of the first Ostrich Festival, according to the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. The board wanted to incorporate the city’s history with the long-necked birds, and thus the festival was born.
For quite some time, the event was held in downtown Chandler, but as the event grew each year and more and more people began attending the festivities, the chamber then decided to move the event to Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park.
The event is family-friendly and features live ostriches and ostrich-themed activities, concerts, carnival rides, attractions, food, and local arts and crafts, according to the chamber.
This year’s headliners include bands 98°, Blues Traveler and The Pointer Sisters.
March 13-15. Free (children under 3), $8 (children 3-11 and 55 and over), $15 (adults). Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler. https://ostrichfestival.com