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11:27 AM Sun, Sept. 23rd

Chino Valley Territorial Days celebrates Arizona cowboys

Matt Santos/Courtesy photo<br>
Jeff Stewart of the Chino Valley Fire Department drives the Firefighters Foundation team of inflatable ponies during the Territorial Days Parade.

Matt Santos/Courtesy photo<br> Jeff Stewart of the Chino Valley Fire Department drives the Firefighters Foundation team of inflatable ponies during the Territorial Days Parade.

The Chino Valley Territorial Days Parade was held Saturday morning and an estimated 2,000 kids of all ages lined Road 1 West to enjoy the celebration.

Sponsored by the Lions Club of Chino Valley, this year's theme of "100 Years of Arizona Cowboys" was represented by more than 50 floats honoring the cowboy, ranching, and agricultural history of Chino Valley, the first territorial capital of Arizona.

"It was a great morning, the cloud cover kept it nice and cool, and it looks like everyone had a great time," said Ab Jackson, Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce president. "We had marching bands, antique autos, and a lot of horses this year. This was one of the best parades we've seen out here."

Serving as Grand Marshals of the parade were Billy and Betty Wells, representing one of the oldest ranching families in Chino Valley.

The Wells family has been ranching in Chino since the early 1900s, with Billy and Betty still operating the V7 ranch on Perkinsville Road.

In addition to the parade, the Lions sponsored an early pancake breakfast at the Chino Valley Senior Center that began at 6 a.m. Following the parade, an arts and crafts fair was held at neighboring Memory Park that featured music by the Rusty Pistols Cowboy Band.

Matt Santos is a reporter with the Chino Valley Review.