Chautauqua Festival back after absence with new additions

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Chautauqua Festival is back after a year’s absence because of the pandemic.

The Festival was annual event for decades, but made a triumphant return in 2019.

“Last year we were fortunate to be one of the only communities in our area that was still able to shoot off their fireworks display,” Tiffany Evans, Chautauqua Festival committee member, said. “This year, we are excited to bring the whole festival back.”

The events begin at 4 p.m. in Forest Park and culminates at dusk with the annual fireworks show.

“We have some new things to shoot off,” Evans said. “The fireworks show should be spectacular.”

The festival was well received in 2019. The committee received feedback and decided to add other activities in 2021, Evans said.

“We added a few of those suggestions in, including the reading of the Declaration of Independence,” Evans said. “We will have the local Boy Scouts present the colors before that reading. When that reading is finished we will have the Patriotic Concert by the Ottawa City Band.”

The presentation of colors will be at 6 p.m.

All the action begins at 4 p.m. with the games. The turtle race kicks off the festivities. Evans said that was the most poplar event in 2019. Other activities include the frog jumping contest, yard games, face painting and the Optimist train ride.

There will be a free watermelon feed following the City Band concert. Mike Finch will perform until dusk.

Evans would like the patrons to come down to Forest Park early, =enjoy the festivities and stay for the fireworks.


1-4 p.m. - Swimming at Forest Park Pool

4 p.m. - Turtle race, water balloon toss, three-legged race.

4-6 p.m. - Yard games, food trucks, Optimistic Train, face painting.

6 p.m. - Presentation of Colors and reading of the Declaration of Independence.

6:30 p.m. - Ottawa City Band Patriotic Concert

7:30 p.m. - Free watermelon feed

7:45 p.m. - Music by Finch

Dusk - Ottawa fireworks display