Celebrate cowboy culture at the corral
Put on your cowboy boots and hat for La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, aka the Tucson Rodeo. Founded in 1925 as a three-day event, it has grown to a nine-day celebration and is one of the nation’s top 25 professional rodeos. Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, it draws more than 450 contestants from the U.S. and Canada.
La Fiesta de los Vaqueros translates to “the cowboy party,” “the celebration of cowboys” or “the festival of cowboys.” Tucson closes its schools for two days, so locals can enjoy the festivities; proceeds benefit local service clubs.
Tucson’s adult events include bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping, women’s barrel racing and tie-down roping.
Young cowpokes, boys and girls, also compete. In the daily Mutton Bustin’, 4-6 year-olds test their riding skills on sheep. In the Justin Junior Rodeo, 7-12 year-olds compete daily in roping events, steer riding and barrel racing.
You’ll arrive on opening day of the rodeo, in time to watch the youngsters’ events. Rustle up lunch on your own at one of the many food booths and be ready in the afternoon when the ProRodeo competition begins. Light snacks will be served during your bus ride home.
NOTE these rodeo rules:
- No handbags, unless they are clear plastic (no bigger than 12x6x12) or the size of your hand.
- No backpacks -- includes fanny packs, tote bags or mesh bags.
- No camera bags, binocular bags or cooler bags.
- No umbrellas.
- No non-approved seat cushions.
- No outside food or beverages.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, Feb. 16, 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
For more information, see Tucson Rodeo
You may also want to view the movie "The Rider," which is available on Netflix. Critic Godfrey Cheshire wrote:
The best American movie this critic has seen in the past year,Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider,” is the kind of rare work that seems to attain greatness through an almost alchemical fusion of nominal opposites. An account of rodeo riders on a South Dakota reservation, it is so fact-based that it almost qualifies as a documentary. Yet the film’s style, its sense of light and landscape and mood, simultaneously give it the mesmerizing force of the most confident cinematic poetry.