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Chandler Ostrich Festival cancels 2020 events because of COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 3:35 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 18:51:10-04

PHOENIX — Add another event to the list of events and festivals that have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic -- the Chandler Ostrich Festival.

The yearly event is typically held in the spring, but was rescheduled at the very last minute to the fall, following similar announcements from other events and festivals at the time.

Now, the fall festival has officially been scrapped and pushed to spring 2021.

"Because the state and federal executive orders on large gatherings are still in effect, the Ostrich Festival will be postponed until March of 2021," said Terri Kimble, president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, the organization that puts on the festival. "We look forward to bringing the community together again in March and can’t wait to share more information on what’s in store."

Kimble said the Chamber's focus is on the well-being of the festival's attendees, staff, vendors, and others involved in the festival.

It is the first time in the event's 32-year history that it has been postponed.

The Chamber has a five-year agreement with the City of Chandler to host the event, according to the Chandler Parks and Recreation Department. That agreement started in 2018.

To reschedule the festival dates, such as to the fall, that agreement had to be amended and approved by City Council, the department said.

Staff and the Chamber were reportedly negotiating those details, but as of early this week, no such agreement had been finalized or approved by City Council, the city said.

98 Degrees, Blues Traveler, and The Pointer Sisters were booked to headline the 2020 event, which also has carnival rides, fair food, and nightly concerts, but as COVID-19 cases and concerns swept the country, concerts, events, and festivals were quickly postponed.

Other events that have been canceled include this year's Arizona State Fair, Phoenix Pizza Festival, Downtown Phoenix Donut Festival, Gilbert Pizza Festival, FRIED Fest, Four Peaks Oktoberfest, and New Belgium's Tour de Fat event in downtown Tempe.