One of the most popular spring events in the Phoenix metro area, the Chandler Ostrich Festival, presents these large flightless birds in all their glory in addition to fun and games for the whole family. For more than three decades this festival has hosted thousands of people, with more arriving every subsequent year. Typically, the event takes place over a three-day weekend each spring, where the entertainment features live music, excellent food, art, parades and of course, the popular ostrich races, though in 2018, the festival received thousands of signatures to stop racing the birds, and in fact, the organizers agreed to focus on a petting zoo instead.
When the outpost named after founder A.J. Chandler established itself in the desert in 1912, the fledging town began as a ranch that hardly resembles the bustling Phoenix exurb into which it developed. Like many other dusty desert towns, the initial industry was based on agricultural crops; however, ostrich farms happened to supply a cottage industry of ambitious entrepreneurs who would sell the beautiful feathers to adorn women’s hats at the time. In fact, as the business ebbed and flowed through the decades, some farms remained with these wonderful animals. In 1989, the Ostrich Festival in Chandler Arizona started with a few farmers selling their wares among locals, but now the event brings together the best of the Valley, from beers and burgers to music and memories.
More Than Ostriches at the Chandler Ostrich Festival
The events and entertainment change every year, but during past festivals, guests could expect bounce houses for the kids, BMX shows, science exhibitions, guided tours of the historic McCroskey House, circus acts, hands-on reptiles and much, much more. While you are here, don’t forget to check out the professional chainsaw carvers who craft one-of-a-kind wood objects. In addition to the excitement on the ground, take the kids on carnival rides, which include unlimited trips for a nominal fee. Additionally, the fairgrounds contain a wide variety of food vendors, where everyone has the option to choose whatever they wish since there is something for every taste. Moreover, for those 21 and over, the festival usually highlights the best local beer in the state, from Flagstaff to Phoenix. If you love beer, the Chandler Ostrich Festival is a great place to sample the various suds. On the main stage, live music closes the festival every night during the three-day weekend.