Originally Published: June 29, 2016 6:02 a.m.
Prescott Frontier Days, the “World’s Oldest Rodeo,” is in full swing following the annual Courier Night, the first night of the rodeo on Tuesday.
It’s the beginning of rodeo week, this year being the 129th annual running of Frontier Days (through July 4) – which dates back to 1888.
Residents, young and old, have heard that before, I am certain. What it means is truly a lot of tradition, entertainment, activities and, of course, rodeo. Check out our coverage in print and online – stories, video, schedules, and a ton of photos!
Here in Prescott, rodeo week also means economic impact (seriously!) – reportedly an influx of millions of dollars each year. It is something no one can deny, placing rodeo up there with “Christmas City” events, two things Prescott is known for most (among many other emerging events, races and activities as well).
Speaking of Christmas, as stated in Courier articles earlier this week, Prescott Frontier Days also draws the world’s champions.
A visit to Prescott, seeking prize money and the coveted “World’s Oldest Rodeo” buckles for the winners, is part of their “Cowboy Christmas” – a time of the summer when many rodeos are held back to back. Competitors jump from town to town doing their best, with hopes to cash in at as many events and towns as possible.
For the rodeo events, the biggest and most anticipated outside of the arena is the parade – the state’s second largest, behind the Fiesta Bowl parade. This year, being an election year, the Saturday’s parade will be even larger for obvious (candidate) reasons. The first entry will step off at 9 a.m. downtown.
What I love about it all is the history.
The men and women of rodeo, the best at what they do who come to our fair city each year. They range from legends to newbies; that’s why news later in the year out of Las Vegas, the first weeks of December, are of such interest to me. That’s the National Finals Rodeo, where the best compete and many of them look familiar because they stopped in Prescott on the way.
Be sure not to miss the dances, in the BMO Bank parking lot downtown (think Albertson’s/Haggen, just off Sheldon and Montezuma streets), June 30-July 2; the Whiskey Row boot races after the parade; the fireman (no)cart races on Sunday morning; and the Fourth of July fireworks and celebration downtown.
See ya’ll out there.