Carlock hosted an annual Community Chautauqua from 1921 through 1931. The Carlock Chautauquas were organized from 1921 to 1927 by a producer based in Chicago. From 1927 to 1931 the producer was based in
Indianapolis. The Chautauqua producer was responsible for advertising, erecting the big tent and stage, as well as hiring the professional musicians, actors, and speakers. Each year, Carlock citizens formed a committee that raised the up-front money to be paid to the producer before the tent flaps were raised for the first show. The producer and the community sponsors shared in the profits.
The Chautauquas were five-day events each summer. The actual dates of the event depended on the producer’s tour schedule. Programs involved both afternoon and evening performances each of the five days. There was also a Junior Chautauqua program earlier in each of the days.
The program for the first Carlock Chautauqua in 1921 included lectures, plays, concerts, and novelty entertainment suitable for the entire family. The lectures were on the subjects of “The Daughter of Job”, “The Red Conspiracy”, “Buried Alive”, and “Historic Illinois”. Musicians ranged from Schildkret’s Orchestra, the Dixie Jubilee Singers, and Gilbert Wilson from a New York opera company. Lockhart and Lassies provided “a program of song and novelty music full of scotch, fun, and life”.
The big Chautauqua tent was erected each year in the schoolyard north of the Carlock Grade School and High School.