WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A unique event celebrating important historical figures started Tuesday evening in Warren. The Chautauqua aims to transport people back in time, even if just for a short while.
Created in the 1930s on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York, a Chautauqua event celebrates history in a way that engages an entire community.
“The Chautauqua event is about a shared experience and is about bringing the community together,” said Fred Blanco, who portrays Cesar Chavez.
The event is more than a lecture. Attendees hear stories from the past from the people who shaped it.
“They will portray that character, then they will be answering questions from the audience as the character,” said organizer Sue Shafer.
The scholars know preparation is the key to a good performance.
“The audiences tend to be very knowledgeable,” said Jeremy Meier, who portrays Robert F. Kennedy. “They’ll know about the character and they want to hear what you would say as, in my case, Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.”
Shafer knows the community responds well every time the Ohio Chautauqua Tour comes through Warren.
“Our community really loves history and we bring this event here,” she said. “It’s free and it’s in downtown, and it’s a great event and we love it.”
This is the seventh time Warren has hosted a stop on the Ohio Chautauqua Tour. The event includes performances from Julia Child on Thursday and Cesar Chavez on Friday.
The Warren Chautauqua runs through Saturday at the Kinsman House in downtown Warren.