A Day at the Ostrich Festival

This past weekend we loaded up the truck and took the kids to the Chandler Ostrich Festival for some good ol fashion family fun.  The Ostrich Festival is your basic county fair type outing only with one small difference. The stars of the show are the ostriches as you can imagine with the highlight of the event being the ostrich races.  Riders race them bareback (at least that’s the idea) and chariot style.

Most of the races end without a clear cut winner due to hardly anyone stays on their bird (or in their chariot) for the whole race.  Just like NASCAR everyone is there to see a wipeout.

I’m amazed at how the city has grown this into a big event.  When we moved here back in ’98 this was a pretty small event held in downtown Chandler.  This weekend there were estimates of over 300,000 people in attendance for the weekend.

We met up with some friends to partake in what makes a good Ostrich Festival.   What would that be you ask?  Well, follow the images below to find out.

Dogdocks competition

The dogs of the “dock dogs” competition.  Ready for takeoff!!! (One of these guys sailed over 20 feet)

A  young boy at the fair

Our youngest enjoying the day.

Group of adults standing

Part of our crew making a pit stop at the McDonalds tent to try out the new drink.  Apparently Justin didn’t want his as he is offering it up.

Group of adults standing with alcohol

The true pros in our group who mastered getting through the beer line the fastest.

County fair ride and food

Required staples at any fair event: sling shot ride and corn dogs!

Food signs at a fair

And of course the new comers, deep fried everything and my new favorite, bacon wrapped sausage.  Because you can never get enough pig!

Women eating and drinking

The girls found some good stuff.

Ostrich sign

This is what happens to the birds that don’t win. Doh!

Monkey doing tricks

Part of the entertainment was a monkey show featuring baboons.  They were actually quite impressive.

Food sign

More food choices than you can shake a stick at! Er, I mean gator.

Ostrich race

This guy made it all the way around.  In case they get into trouble or actually finish the race the riders have a quick release to free themselves from the birds.

An ostrich

Where’s my rider?

Carnival rides

People enjoying a carnival swing ride as they fly through the air

Carnival rides

And the day is done.

Until next time…


Camera: Canon 40D with a Canon 17-40L

Processing: Lightroom 3


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  1. Looks like a darn fun time, but now I am craving a dang corn dog. You know, cuz only carnivals know how to make a good corn dog. CURSE YOU!!

  2. IDK but that dude riding the Ostrich reminded me of something you would see in a Monty Python movie. 🙂

    Kangaroo burgers? IDK if I could eat one, lol. gator is good though.

  3. Looks like a great time was had by all. This was the first year since moving to Chandler that we didn’t make it out, but we are saving each and every penny for the house / move. Thanks for sharing the pictures and letting us know what we missed. 🙂

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