If you’ve never seen an ostrich race, it’s a good reason to head to Tumbleweed Park March 8-10. If you have seen an ostrich race, it’s probably a good idea to go down there and see another one to make sure it wasn’t some odd, exhilarating dream.
Check out a race, enjoy a nice, juicy ostrich steak or listen to some music as the Chandler Chamber of Commerce Ostrich Festival is back for its 25th year.
“Ostrich meat is surprisingly really good, believe it or not,” Chandler Chamber CEO Terri Kimble said in a news release. “I look forward to ostrich burgers all year.”
And if ostriches aren’t your exotic taste’s desire, there will also be eggs and jerky courtesy of cousin emu, along with an array of emu-oil infused personal care products, which have a reputation as effective skin moisturizers.
Interesting cuisine is also expected to be highlighted by turkey legs, cajun frog legs, rocky mountain oysters, fried catfish, deep fried brownies, alligator po boys, smoked trout and salmon and plenty more.
“This year we have some new and very unique foods that I look forward to experiencing. Where else can you enjoy all of these unique entrees and products at once?” Kimble said.
But the family friendly event includes much more than just food on its menu. Bands, demonstrations, vendors, magic shows, Radio Disney, exotic birds — yes, beyond ostriches and emus — trickster dogs and more will be on hand to entertain. The events last from 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Ostrich races have been added this year to bring the fun to more people: Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and at noon, 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10.
Main-stage acts range from country and rock ’n’ roll, to blues, to Latin forms. Acts include “The Voice” finalist Vicci Martinez, classic rockers The Guess Who, James Otto, Journey tribute band Journey Unauthorized, faith-based singer Charlie Hall, and Fairchild’s Blues Tribute, to name a few.
There will be even more live entertainment on a pair of side stages, including Kaci, EmbeR, Radio Logic, Future Loves Past, Music Makers Workshop, Run 2 Cover, Rock N Roll High School, Not Your Average, The Semester Review, The Delphies, Rust, The Blues Review Band, The Tanks, The Oxford Clerics, Third Star, Slim Havoc featuring Brian Legate, Vintage Rockets, Icelus and Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers.
The event kicked off this past Saturday with a parade marshaled by none other than Baxter the Bobcat, the beloved Diamondbacks mascot, but the real meat of the festivities takes place this coming weekend.
For dates, times, and other details on the musical guests, shows, demonstrations and other events taking place — including a festival map — visit www.OstrichFestival.com.
IF YOU GO
What: 25th Annual Ostrich Festival
When: 2 p.m. to midnight Friday, March 8; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, March 9; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday March 10th
Where: Tumbleweed Park , 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler
Cost: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and youth ages 5-12, free for kids 4 and younger. Parking is $5.