The Ostrich Festival in Chandler is an annual one-of-a-kind event with a fun mixture of events, shows, rides, vendors and more that has been the pride of Chandler since 1989. And this year’s line up is so exciting: there is a Baby Shark Mini Show, The Great Benjamin Circus Show, an interactive experience from Crayola, a One Man Wild West Show, and more! You can view all the attractions here.
Here are our top 10 reasons to mark your calendars to attend this festival.
1. It’s good, clean family fun! There is something for everyone, young and old. Take the babies, the teenagers, the grandparents — everyone will find something to make them smile. Plus kids 4 and under are free! We’ve been going for the past 5 years – it’s definitely the highlight of our year.
2. The petting zoo was unique and kept our kids occupied for a good 20 minutes. How often do you get to pet a camel? Or see a wallaby up close? You can pay a couple dollars to get a cup of feed to offer the animals too. We also got treated to see day old baby piglets!
3. Why is it called the Ostrich Festival? Here is more history behind ostriches in Arizona. It’s pretty amusing, and getting to see these unique (and intense!) birds up close is something your child will always remember. In 2019 they did away with the ostrich racing, but you can see them from a shaded pen near the petting zoo. It’s an impressive sight!
4. All the food! Seriously, there’s just so much fried goodness, and classics like popcorn and corn dogs, and amazing BBQ. If you’re up for an adventure, try an ostrich burger or jerky, or other exotic meats. Shave ice is our personal favorite.
5. Vendors are not limited to food! You’ll find all sorts of items for sale, from hats to wind chimes and more. Browsing these shops are just as fun for kids as adults.
6. For our ages of kids (8 and under), it was great to have a separate area of rides and activities they could do without competing with the crowds of the main carnival. When our middle child was two, he was even tall enough to go on a ride with no adult, which made his day! Favorites with our group included the rocking ship, the roller coaster, a water boat, and the classic carousel.
7. If you need a break from the rides, there are some great shows to catch, some under tents which help with the intense sunshine. In the past, you could watch as dogs caught flying frisbees, or see a fun magic performance. Don’t miss the STEM tent! Check the website for this year’s lineup
8. Kudos to the parking attendants and organization! We’ve been to events where traffic was piled up for hours (no joke!) but parking at the Ostrich Festival was clearly marked, a decent $5/car and attendants were helpful and friendly. This goes a long way in appeal to return.
9. Concerts are included with the price of admission! Check the schedule for when your favorite group will be performing.
10. Races and shows repeat on an average of 3 times all day. So if you can only make it in the afternoon, you’re guaranteed to see your favorites at least once during your stay. We recommend checking the map and schedule when you first arrive. Our kids did well with alternating shows with rides and snacks.
For more information, check out the official Ostrich Festival website. The 2020 dates are March 13, 14, and 15 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Traditionally the festivities are held in mid-March, Friday-Sunday.
Check out the YouTube video from our 2018 festival fun: