Originally Published: June 29, 2012 10 p.m.
In case you've missed all the signs around Prescott, let us take this opportunity to "Welcome Rodeo Fans."
Prescott Frontier Days, the "World's Oldest Rodeo," opened Thursday, and the past couple of days have just been the warm-up to all that is going to make this town rock during the biggest summer event of the year.
What makes the 2012 rodeo particularly special is that the historic Prescott tradition is celebrating its 125th birthday, a real milestone to mark during Arizona's celebration of 100 years of statehood.
The granddaddy of rodeos began on July 4, 1888, with a bunch of merchants and businessmen who organized a "cowboy tournament" and gave cash prizes to the winners. That was only the start of what would become a cowboy extravaganza that attracts the best rodeo performers and thousands of fans from around the world.
If you haven't had a chance yet to take part in the annual Fourth of July festivities, you have plenty of time left and can start your Independence Day celebration with the annual Prescott Frontier Days Parade, which promenades around the courthouse plaza beginning at 9 a.m. today. Rodeo performances continue through Wednesday, July 4, at the historic Rodeo Grounds.
And the rodeo and parade are not the only features on the holiday calendar. The Rodeo Days Fine Arts and Crafts Show will set up on the courthouse plaza for the weekend, the Whiskey Row Boot Race takes off right after the parade, and folks can dance the night away to the tunes of Filabusta, the Wes Williams Band and Los Guys tonight on Whiskey Row.
The Fireman Hose Cart Races will entertain folks downtown at 9 a.m. on Sunday, and don't forget the grand finale - the big celebration that starts at noon July 4 at Pioneer Park and doesn't end until fireworks light up the sky that night.
This look at what's going on only skims the surface of the frivolity that sweeps across the Prescott area over the Fourth of July holiday. Check dCourier.com each day through the holiday so that you can plan to whoop it up with the best of them.
Have fun. Be safe.
You will find truth in the motto for this year's Prescott Frontier Days celebration: "Prescott - Where It All Began."