Rossford presents Chautauqua’s ‘Modern Legends’

Susan Frontczak portrayed Marie Curie at the 2016 Ohio Chautauqua presentation in Rossford. She'll return this summer to play Erma Bombeck.


If history was your favorite subject in school, or even if it wasn’t, you will be amazed and delighted when history comes to life before your very eyes in Rossford June 19-23rd.  Northwest Ohio is very fortunate to have Ohio Humanities in Columbus select Rossford as one of its four cities for the Ohio Chautauqua 2018 tour.  The theme for 2018 is “Modern Legends” featuring characters of note including politician and lawyer – Robert F. Kennedy, humorist and author – Erma Bombeck, labor leader and civil rights activist – Cesar Chavez, American writer, activist and feminist Betty Friedan and the first African-American general officer in the US Air Force – Benjamin O. Davis.

Chautauqua includes daytime programs with visiting performing scholars as well as a Family Day on Saturday.

Two local figures are involved in this year’s program. Robert Kennedy is being portrayed by Jeremy Meier, theater professor at Owens Community College. Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Toledo-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee, will give a presentation on Wednesday, June 20, at 4 p..m,  at the Rossford Library. He will speak about his work with Cesar Chavez an his own ground-breaking work on behalf of migrant workers.  Velásquez received the Bannerman Fellowships for helping organize people for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, was named a MacArthur Fellow (known as the “Genius Grant”), and received Mexico’s Aquila Azteca Award, the highest award Mexico can give a non-citizen.  The living history presentation of Cesar Chavez will be that evening, June 20th at 7 p.m. at Veterans Park. The El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico will perform at 6 pm. that evening.

Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy.

Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Eagle Point School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail.  With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at or

Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2018 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, TARTA, NAI Harmon Group, NSG Group/Pilkington, The Blade, La Prensa, The Sojourner’s Truth, Welch Publishing, Meijer Rossford, Camping World, the City of Rossford and the Rossford Library.

Food vendors including Country Lane BBQ and Marco’s Pizza nightly from 5-9 PM and Snowie Summers Shaved Ice and Roe’s Lemonade on Friday and Saturday.


Evening Performances

Rossford Veteran’s Memorial Park and Marina

300 Hannum Ave
Rossford, OH 43460

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
Live local music at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 19
Susan Marie Frontczak as Erma Bombeck
Music by Tim Concannon

Wednesday, June 20
Fred Blanco as Cesar Chavez
Music by El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico

Thursday, June 21
Dr. Sally Ann Drucker as Betty Friedan
Music by Muddy

Friday, June 22
Dr. J. Holmes Armstead as Benjamin O. Davis Jr.
Music by Carmen Miller

Saturday, June 23
Jeremy Meier as Robert F. Kennedy
Music by Dan Cadaret

Daytime Programs for Adults

Engage in real conversations about real issues at scholar-led programs.

Rossford Library

720 Dixie Hwy
Rossford, OH 43460

Tuesday, June 19
2:00 p.m.
America Emerges as a World Power 1940 -1970 with Dr. J. Holmes Armstead (Benjamin O. Davis Jr.)

4:00 p.m.
Zoot Suit Riots with Fred Blanco (Cesar Chavez)

Wednesday, June 20
2:00 p.m.
Women in Advertising Media with Dr. Sally Ann Drucker (Betty Friedan)

4:00 p.m.
An Afternoon with Baldamar Velásquez

Thursday, June 21
4:00 p.m.
Hooked on Humor with Susan Marie Frontczak (Erma Bombeck)

Friday, June 22
2:00 p.m.
Kennedy Men: Father and Sons with Jeremy Meier (Robert F. Kennedy)

4:00 p.m.
Keep Your Airspeed Up: The Story of a Tuskegee Airman with Dr. Harold Brown

Family Day

Saturday, June 23
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Veteran’s Memorial Park & Marina

300 Hannum Ave
Rossford, OH 43460

1:00 PM -1:30 PM
To Make Gentle the Life of This World: Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy
with Jeremy Meier (Robert F. Kennedy)

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
The Airplane, Flying the 20th Century
with Jim Armstead (Benjamin O. Davis Jr.)

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Feminism Then and Now
with Sally Ann Drucker (Betty Friedan)

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Character Development for Chautauqua
with Fred Blanco (Cesar Chavez)

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Legendary Children’s Stories from the mid-20th Century
with Susan Marie Frontczak (Erma Bombeck)