The Ostrich Festival

There's one thing I have to say about Phoenix and the suburbs - there's ALWAYS something to do on the weekends. As a matter of fact, there's usually TOO much to do! This past weekend there was an Irish Festival in Phoenix, Aloha Festival in Tempe, Irish Festival in Fountains Hills (where they dye the water green for the huge fountain), and Chandler had it's annual Ostrich Festival. Well, for the past three years I've been wanting to go to the Ostrich Festival, and this year we finally made it.

There's enough there to keep you busy all day, especially if you have kids. There is a Main Carnival for the bigger kids, and a Kiddie Carnival.

There's also a petting zoo, a kid's zone, and pig races. Boy those little piggies can run!

We headed to the area where the ostrich races were held so we could see the first race of the day before it got too crowded.

The first event scheduled was jousting. Our section cheered for the blue knight. That's good 'cause he was cuter, if I may say so, myself.

Before the jousting started, we watched this woman make her horse do some fancy steps.

Then the jousting began!

It continued on the ground!

The Black Knight slays the Blue Knight!

The Black Knight is the Winner! Boo!

All a little hokey, but fun nonetheless.

Before I get to the ostrich races, let me share some information about them with you.

* A male ostrich is called a "rooster", a female is called a "hen".

* The ostrich has two toes, all other birds have three or four toes.

* The ostrich is the largest living bird in the world.

* Adult males are 8 to 10 feet tall and weigh 350-400 pounds.

* The ostrich can run at speeds of up to 40 mph for sustained times.

* An ostrich will live to be 50-75 years old.

* Females sit on eggs by day, males sit on eggs by night.

There were three ostriches in the race, and three brave riders. The riders could barely hang on!

This rider fell off and is running for his life! Look who's chasing him!

Ostrich on the loose!

Next were the chariot races. Blue guy is racing to the finish line.

Then they selected three kids from the audience to participate in emu chasing. You can just see the look of glee on their faces as they chase their particular animal while the crowd cheered them on.

Camel racing was next.

When the races were over we went to get something to eat. There was a long line waiting to buy ostrich burgers. Somehow I couldn't bring myself to eat one.

This couple said they were delicious - tasted like hamburgers but not as greasy.

I settled for a gyro and Jim bought some Thai food. The food was expensive, but good.

I saw a guy wearing this hat. Couldn't resist taking a picture of it.

Jim lost his cell phone while we were there, and someone was kind enough to turn it in to Security. Thank you to whoever turned it in!

It was a fun day. And I learned two things. I would never ride an ostrich, nor would I want one as a pet. Who would want a pet that is taller, fatter and can run faster than me?

Watch one of the races here.

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