One hundred years ago this week, Madras was visited by what was lauded as the "First Annual Chautauqua" — six days of entertainment. Next week, a new group of entertainers, the New Old Time Chautauqua, will entertain locals with four days of performances.
The modern-day Chautauqua is a group of 40 performers from the Puget Sound who bring a 30-piece marching band, renowned jugglers, acrobats, and others to communities throughout the Northwest to entertain and educate.
Beginning with performances at the Jefferson County Relay For Life on Sunday, July 16, at 9 a.m., at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, the day will continue with a Madras town parade starting at 1 p.m. on 10th Street in front of Madras Elementary School and ending at the library, followed by a choice of fun workshops after the parade at the Jefferson County Library's Rodriguez Annex, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m., there will be a community potluck at the Rodriguez Annex.
On Tuesday, July 18, from 2-3 p.m., the library's Summer Reading Program will feature the New Old Time Chautauqua at the Madras Kids Club. The show will also include summer reading prizes for all kids in attendance.
On Wednesday, July 19, beginning at 11 a.m., the library's Summer Reading Program invites the town of Culver to participate in a parade with the New Old Time Chautauqua from Culver Elementary School to the Culver Park, where the performers will put on a show of music, juggling, acrobatics, and more. All are welcome to join in the fun event.
Later the afternoon of July 19, the Warm Springs Library along with the Jefferson County Library District, will host the New Old Time Chautauqua at the Warm Springs Community Center gymnasium.
On the morning of Thursday, July 20, the Chautauqua will perform at the JCLD Summer Reading Program at Crooked River Ranch. That evening, at 7 p.m., the group will perform on the stage at the Madras Performing Arts Center.
Grant funds from the Jefferson County Cultural Coalition and the Bean Foundation made it possible for the Jefferson County Library to bring the Chautauqua shows, parades, and workshops to locations throughout Jefferson County.
Sophie Pipia, Ethos music teacher at Buff Elementary and New Old Time Chautauqua board member and performer, along with Lorene Forman, library district youth specialist, secured the grant funds and made arrangements for the appearances throughout the library district.