The Tucson Rodeo Parade In The Spirit Of The Old West
Tucson AZ In February – Don’t Miss The Tucson Rodeo Parade
Tucson Rodeo Parade
What so special about the Tucson Rodeo Parade? The answer is likely to be “not much” if you are from the east coast, midwest or west coast. But if you are from southern Arizona, its part of the fabric of who you are.
The first Tucson Rodeo and Rodeo Parade took place on February 21, 1925. That’s over 90 years ago. And it is still going strong.
The 1925 parade was small compared to today. But none the less, it was an extraordinary event.
Tucson Rodeo Parade History
Now here is an interesting bit of the history. The parade was lead by Major Nuestatter. Tucson’s veteran Parade Leader. Veteran Parade Leader? Not sure if that job is still open today. But he must have been very good.
Following Major Nuestatter was the 25th Infantry Band from Nogales. Then a platoon of Reserve Officers. After them polo players, cowboys and cowgirls, buggies, wagons, and Indians. Bringing up the rear was the 10th U.S. Cavalry from Ft. Hoachuca.
For the 34,000 people living in Tucson, AZ in 1925 the Tucson Rodeo and Rodeo Parade was not a big event. In fact, many wondered why it was necessary. Why? It was considered pretentious.
Now look back for a moment. In 1925, most of Tucson’s streets were dirt. Stop signs did not exist. Entertainment was from the radio and phonograph. Church socials and musicals were popular activities of the time.
Why was a rodeo or parade necessary? Tucson was surrounded by rodeos every day. Most ranches and private schools had rodeos. But even though many people considered the event a waste of time it was a huge success.
Tucson Rodeo Parade Today
The Tucson Rodeo Parade is a beloved tradition in Tucson, AZ. And remains one of the prominent displays of the Old West. Area schools are closed on Parade Day along with some local businesses.
Over 200 non-motorized floats are in the rodeo parade each year. And over 200,000 fans watch the western-themed floats, buggies, and historic horse-drawn coaches along the parade route.
Rodeo Parade Route
The Parade begins at 9 am. It starts on Ajo Highway 1/2 mile east of Park Ave. Goes east to Park Avenue, then south on Park to Irvington Rd. Proceeds west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and turns north on Sixth Avenue. Then goes to the North end of the Tucson Rodeo Grounds.
Winter visitors and Tucson residents should take some time to see this one a year event. You might even want to spend an afternoon at the Tucson Rodeo. Another bit of Tucson history during the February/March period is at the Rillito Race Park. Quarter horse racing and people watching at its finest. Did you know the photo finish was started at the Rillito Race Park?
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