The Tucson Rodeo – La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros
Tucson’s Annual Event In February
Tucson Rodeo – La Fiesta de los Vaqueros OR Celebration Of The Cowboy.
Tucson’s annual celebration of the cowboys is Southern Arizona?s oldest heritage event. The Tucson Rodeo is one of the top 25 rodeos of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
Some of the best cowboys and cowgirls compete in six rodeo performances.
It is an annual event that includes one of the oldest non-motorized parades in the world. The Tucson Rodeo Parade.
The gala event takes place on Thursday, February 20. An estimated 150,000 spectators will line the streets along the route. And over 150 western-theme floats and buggies will be in the parade. Along with Mexican folk dancers and marching musical groups.
A Bit Of History
The Tucson Rodeo began in 1925. For the youngsters, that was during prohibition.
For unknown reasons, Federal officials came to cleaned up the town two weeks before the rodeo. To make Tucson a “better place” they captured 25 stills and an estimated 3,000 gallons of moonshine.
To the delight of many, they didn’t get it all.
In 1925 there were four events. Steer wrestling, steer tying, calf roping, and saddle bronc riding. The purse was a fabulous $6,650.
On the night before each day of the rodeo, there was the rodeo dance. Tourists, cowboys & cowgirls, society members, and Navajo Indians enjoyed the festivities. The 10th Cavalry and 25th Infantry bands from Fort Huachuca provided the music.
Tucson Rodeo Parade In 1925
The first Tucson Rodeo Parade had 300 participants. Local ranchers on horseback, and mounted polo players in uniform. Again the 10th Cavalry and 25th Infantry bands provided music.
At first there was not much enthusiasm from the locals. Streets were dirt and had no stop signs. Even some of the businessmen and city fathers refused to back the Tucson rodeo. Still the city leaders and the University of Arizona declared the rodeo a city holiday.
Rodeo Parade Today
The Tucson Rodeo Parade of today shows a much grander scale both in attendance and floats.
From humble beginnings, the Tucson Rodeo and Rodeo Parade are an annual tradition. Schools are even closed for the event. The Tucson Rodeo and Rodeo Parade are a wonderful display of the Old West. Events include bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, kids events, and women’s barrel racing.
The Tucson Rodeo is one of the top rodeo events in North America. Prize money is over $420,000. Over 200 groups participate in the rodeo parade. Historic horse-drawn buggies and coaches, festive Mexican folk dancers, marching bands, and outfitted riders.
The rodeo grandstands are located at Irvington and S. 6th Ave. The parade route begins at Park Ave. and Ajo Way, and continues south to Irvington Rd. then heads west on Irvington Rd. to south 6th Ave. Then to the north end of the grandstands.
The Tucson Rodeo is run as a charitable event. Proceeds benefit the University of Arizona Scholarship Fund, the Lion’s Club, Rotary Clubs, and 4-H Groups.
Visitors of Tucson can explore the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum. Located on the NE corner of S. 6th Ave. and Irvington Rd. The building was originally the first city airport hanger, established in 1918.
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