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Feathers and Festivities: The Chandler Ostrich Festival Returns for Two Weekends of Fun

The Ostrich Festival returned this year to Chandler, Ariz., for two weekends of entertainment and activities to celebrate the unusual history of the city’s creation. 

The Ostrich Festival was created in 1989 in a joint effort by the City of Chandler and the Chandler Chamber of Commerce as a means of honoring the city's unique history. As stated on the Chandler Chamber of Commerce's website The Ostrich Festival has since gone on to be established as “one of the premier festivals in the Southwest” with an annual attendance between 250,000 and 300,000 people. 

After the pandemic forced the Chandler Chamber of Commerce to postpone The Ostrich Festival for two years, it made a triumphant return in 2023. Chandler is now celebrating its 34th annual Ostrich Festival since its creation in 1989. The idea of the festival was around long before Chandler was a city. 

In 1891, Dr. A.J. Chandler brought the largest ostrich herd in Arizona to what is now downtown Chandler, buying 80 acres of land from the federal government which would later become the city known for The Ostrich Festival. Nearly 20 years later, Chandler opened the first townsite, officially establishing Chandler as a recognizable community. Over the next 100 years, Chandler grew to a population of 275,000 residents, fostering a tight-knit community. 

What is it?

The Ostrich Festival is an outdoor festival on the grounds of Tumbleweed Park and features many attractions including a carnival, vendor row and performances. Some of the newer attractions include The Flying Royals, a troupe of flying trapeze artists, and OFF Axis Stunt Show, an acrobatic stunt show. Additionally, families can enjoy kid-friendly activities, such as the kiddie carnival. 

However, the main highlight of The Ostrich Festival is the ostrich experience where guests can interact with over 30 local ostriches as they roam freely in their enclosed space. Ostriches aren't the only animals featured at the festival, as one can find All Alaskan Pig Races and “JUMP!” The Ultimate Dog Show.

The Ostrich Festival has a nightly main stage concert, which is included with admission to the festival. A field that normally hosts youth soccer games is now temporarily the home to a large stage that will support all of the acts over the next two weeks. 

The opening weekend from March 8 through March 10 featured a new artist every night: Shaggy, Big & Rich, and Los Tucales de Tijuana. Paul Russell, recently put back on the music scene due to the TikTok virality of his hit “Lil Boo Thang,” opened for Shaggy on Friday night. His electric performance set the standard for the other main stage acts to follow for the rest of the festival. 

The second weekend will feature media sensation Yung Gravy, country music star Chris Lane and Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Wynona Judd. 

How to attend

There is still time to attend this year's Ostrich Festival. Tickets for the second weekend are still available. Tickets can be purchased online and in-person at the festival, or select Bashas and Food City Locations. Adult admission costs $35 per person per day while children's admission costs $20 per person per day. Multi-day packages are also available. 

The Ostrich Festival is located at Tumbleweed Park which is just two miles from where Dr. A.J. Chandler first brought his ostrich herd. Parking is available on the festival grounds for $15, but there is a complimentary shuttle system picking guests up from downtown Chandler and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The shuttle runs from the start of the festival until an hour after the festival ends each respective day.

More information can be found online at or on Instagram @ostrichfestival. 

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