Balloon Burst

Balloon Burst

Yesterday we attended the 25th Annual Ostrich Festival which celebrates a history of ostrich ranching in Chandler, Arizona. We were entertained with a number of attractions. The Rhinestone Roper, for example, demonstrated his skill as a gun spinner and fast draw expert by shooting balloons on a cactus shaped prop. His horse, Lucky Joe, stole the show with his ability to bow, rear, count out his age, answer yes and no, and lay down. Amazingly, Lucky Joe could balance himself while completely upside down with legs in the air. The bowie knife throwing of the Rhinestone Roper while his wife was spinning on the six foot wheel of death had me holding my breath. How she could spin numerous times and finish shooting two balloons is beyond my comprehension. It was hard to know who suffered more during the ostrich races – the giant 300 pound birds or those attempting to ride them. Trying to attach a chariot to an ostrich also seems like a stupid endeavor. Likewise having children chase emus around the track can’t be healthy for the birds. The donkeys handled their would be riders stubbornly, too. The Marvelous Mutts, on the other hand, provided energetic play for former shelter dogs over an obstacle course, with Frisbees, and in a water tank. Even a deaf dog can love to fetch a Frisbee. We toured the grounds which were especially muddy in the main carnival section. We didn’t partake in any of the rides nor did we purchase any food. The booths showed lots of color. We completed our afternoon visit with the Fearless Flores Thrill Show. Our multi-talented hostess climbed a 65-foot swaypole and showed her acrobatic talent. Then, a performer entered a circular rotating cage where he demonstrated his balance by walking forward, backward, and outside the unit. He even donned a blindfold to show his proficiency. The finale involved two motorcycles in a circular steel cage. The Ostrich Festival is another unique offering in the Phoenix area.

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