Tucson Rodeo Season

Tucson Rodeo 1.jpg I was enjoying a leisurely first cup of coffee this morning, and looking up the weather for Tucson, Arizona online.  An announcement on the weather site caught my eye.  The advertisement was warning folks to dress warm for the 92nd Annual Tucson Rodeo Parade this morning – it was going to be chilly out there – 60 degrees.

Parade?  A rodeo parade?  Today?  This was news to me.  I quickly looked online for information about the parade and found out that it was starting at 9am from the Tucson Rodeo Fairgrounds, about 30 minutes from us.  I made note of the parade route, and talked Jim into going.  It meant a very hasty breakfast as we needed to get down there and scope out the parking situation.  I consulted google maps for a good spot along the route that would put us at a cross street where the parade made a sharp turn to the right.  This spot was also about a mile into the parade route, giving us time to get parked and get to the intersection before the front of the parade reached us.

Parade Marshalls keeping an eye on the crowd

We found a really nice spot at the intersection where I had a fantastic line of sight for the parade!  The parade consisted mostly of floats (representing area clubs, businesses and civic organizations) and marching bands.  And lots and lots of horses since the whole parade was purposely non-motorized entries only.

Part of the crowd – how many cowboy hats can you spot??

The parade lasted 2.5 hours – yes, it was long – but I thought the crowd and atmosphere very refreshing.  I really had a good time!  Who doesn’t love a parade?

Jim was getting antsy part way through the parade, and was ready to leave well before I was.  I kept waiting for representation from the Boy Scouts.  I have fond memories of Luke’s boy scout troop marching in the Randolph, VT parades, and I was sure there would be a boy scout troop somewhere in this parade.


All the horses were so beautiful, and the entries so colorful!!


Part of a POW float
This one’s for you Luke!

Anyway, the end of the parade finally arrived, and we never did see any boy scout troops marching.  Oh well!!  Still a great parade!

We left the parade and headed to the closest Starbucks to get our second cup of coffee for the morning, and then we were off to do our grocery shopping.  While sitting in Starbucks, I got to thinking about the parade.  Now, I’m nobody’s fool – I quickly came to the realization that if there was a rodeo parade today, then, by golly, it must be kicking off the rodeo season here in Tucson!  (I know what you’re thinking – why did this epiphany not come to me while at the parade when we were a heck of a lot closer to the fairgrounds – like right across the street.  It was because I had not had my second cup of coffee for the day yet!)  I decided to get back on the old smartphone and see when the rodeo actually started.  Lo and behold, the rodeo was going on the entire week, including today.

We got back in the truck and headed back towards the rodeo fairgrounds, and the rest is history.  After waiting in several long lines, we got our tickets and were seated with 1/2 hour to spare before the start of the professional rodeo event!  We walked around the fairgrounds while we waited for the start – taking in the crowd and we even entered a drawing to win a Dodge Ram truck.  Keep you fingers crossed for us!  🙂


He looks mean, huh?

Finally, at 2pm, the official professional rodeo events commenced.  Forgive this north-easterner if I don’t get the name of the events correct – I am *rodeo-illiterate* but I can tell you I had a blast!

The rodeo  –  a photographic journey……

Honoring the Armed Forces

Prior to the start of the rodeo, there was a wonderful recognition for our armed services with each branch represented by a different horse-rider.

Bucking Bronco Riding

Calf Wrestling


Coming out the gate

Barrel Racing

Great to see the ladies represented.  This was high energy and fun to watch!


The Winner of the event for today – she goes on to the final competition on Sunday

Calf Roping

Bull Riding

I only managed one picture as it was too far away – but this was a little scary!

I think what I liked most of all about the rodeo was the festive, family atmosphere.  Apparently,  the schools here in Tucson are closed the entire week of the rodeo.  (This explains why we noticed such huge crowds at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park!)  We happened upon the rodeo completely by accident, but I highly recommend it.  If you are planning a trip to Tucson, come during the rodeo. You won’t regret it!


2 Comments on “Tucson Rodeo Season

  1. Great serendipity, love the barrel racing pics. We happened upon the Cody WY rodeo and sat in the “buzzards roost” section above the animal pens, so wonderfully memorable.


    • We had an absolute blast at the Tucson Rodeo. Also attended the Cody. WY rodeo years ago when Leif and Luke were young. The best thing was the spontaneity. Totally did not know it was happening until that day, and our final full day in Tucson.


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