Ostriches to poetry, cars to pop

Live music, fun houses, and petting zoos at the Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Ariz.
Live music, fun houses, and petting zoos at the Ostrich Festival in Chandler, Ariz.
By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 7, 2010

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MARCH 12-14


Ostrich Festival: Are there real ostriches here? Yes. Do they race one another with human jockeys on their backs? Yes. Does the festival serve ostrich burgers? Yes. Is it weird to eat ostrich while you are watching ostriches run around? Yes. But weird is the norm at this three-day event in suburban Phoenix. The weekend of ostrich-themed events is family-friendly with fun houses and petting zoos, but it’s also well equipped for grown-ups traveling alone, thanks to a lineup of live music (including a Journey tribute band) and a sweet dance floor. You’re also only about 20 minutes from Phoenix if you want to take part in non-ostrich activities. $7 to $9, free for children ages 4 and under; Tumbleweed Park, Chandler,

MARCH 10-13


Split This Rock Poetry Festival: There are still hippies who love poetry and peace, and next month they will gather in our nation’s capital to, as festival organizers put it, “speak out for social justice, imagine a way forward, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change.’’ Participants will include poet Andrea Gibson, who has a book called “Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns,’’ and Lillian Allen, who performs “dub poetry,’’ which is often set to music. The festival is named for a line from Langston Hughes’s poem “Big Buddy’’: “Don’t you hear this hammer ring? / I’m gonna split this rock. / And split it wide! / When I split this rock, / Stand by my side.’’ 202-787-5210,



Biff Burger’s 14th Annual Bike Celebration: It’s best to start by explaining that Biff Burger is a burger joint that doubles as a meeting spot for car junkies - the kind who collect classics. The event gives those collectors the chance to show off for trophies while enjoying a pig roast. Other events include tattoo and “biggest belly’’ contests. 3939 49th St. N., St. Petersburg, 727-527-5297.

MARCH 23-27


Winter Music Conference: Aspiring DJs and music fans looking for a reason to get warm flock to this event, which usually draws up to 2,000 DJs from all over the world. Highlights include a DJ spin-off and a video jockey challenge that combines the best of sight and sound. The conference puts out the demographics of its attendees each year, and usually more than 60 percent of the participants are men with a college degree who adore music. (Worth mentioning if you’re on the hunt for one of those.) $75-$425, 954-563-4444,


MAY 1-2


Bamboozle Festival: Parents of teenagers can earn some adoration by buying tickets for this pop extravaganza at the Meadowlands, which takes its lineup straight from the Top 40. This year’s headliner is Paramore (if you’ve never heard of the band, ask a 14-year-old). Other performers include Weezer, Drake, and Ke$ha, who is not a good role model but probably puts on a pretty good live set. There are a few acts that should appeal to chaperones, just in case you’re worried. Look out for British folkster Bobby Long and the always-entertaining OK Go.

Events are sometimes canceled, rescheduled, or sold out; call or check online. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at