TUCSON RODEO PARADE COMMITTEE, INC.
TUCSON RODEO PARADE AND MUSEUM
Where History and Education Come Together
One hundred-fifty thousand spectators line the streets in Southern Tucson in anticipation of the nation’s longest non-motorized, horse-drawn parade. The 92nd annual Tucson Rodeo Parade will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2017. One hundred and twenty-five entries consisting of over 2,500 people, 90 wagons and buggies, and about 650 horses, large and small, will form this colorful spectacle of our Western heritage. Included in the procession will be local dignitaries, Native American royalty and performers, historical wagons and colorful floats, marching bands and mariachis, costumed rodeo royalty from around the state and working cowboys. Continuing the tradition of no motorized entries, the entire parade is propelled by real horsepower. The parade is free, but ticketed grandstand seating that includes pre-parade entertainment and professional announcers is available next to the Rodeo Grounds on Irvington Road.
The Tucson Rodeo Parade is a culmination of a year-round effort by the Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee. This committee is long steeped in tradition and prides itself in offering the Tucson community this grand legacy. This year the Rodeo Parade Committee is led by its first female chairman, Diane Culin (Sullivan) who is a second generation Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee member, and the first woman selected to serve on the Committee. In her own words Diane says, “It is an honor and a privilege to lead the Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee and be a part of this Tucson tradition. The Parade Committee members are by far the hardest working and most dedicated group of volunteers I have ever known. Words cannot express and numbers cannot measure the initiative and energy they contribute all year long.”
While working on the production of this magnificent parade, the committee’s efforts also turn to their other love, the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum. The museum complex includes the old hanger of Tucson’s first airport; the first municipally owned airport in the country. Parade Committee members built a replica pioneer stockade in front of the main entrance to the museum in 1963. The exterior of the museum remains as it was then and is a prominent landmark on the Rodeo Grounds. Once inside the museum, you take a giant step back to the Tucson and the Old West as it once was. Today, it includes trained docents and videos streaming throughout the Museum, offering a wide range of education to multiple interests and varied age groups. It includes three buildings that proudly display over 120 pieces of “rolling stock”: horse-drawn buggies, buckboards, stagecoaches and farm wagons, The Museum and the Parade are host to Tucson’s first police wagon, a horse-drawn “fire truck,” a horse drawn milk wagon, a horse-drawn school bus, and much more.
The Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee is proud to serve the historical and educational interests of tourists, our community, and our schools through the Rodeo Parade and the Rodeo Parade Museum. The Museum offers school tours by reservation, and docents see as many as 2000 school age children every year. Grants to assist with school bus costs are often available.
The Parade Museum is open Monday through Saturday in January and February, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. before the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday rodeo performances.
Volunteers for the Parade and the Museum and financial donors are always needed. Tax deductible donations in any amount may be made to the Tucson Rodeo Parade and Museum, P.O. Box 1788, Tucson, AZ 85702.
The Tucson Rodeo Parade will kick off at 9a.m. Feb. 23, 2017 on Ajo near Park Ave. Pre- parade entertainment starts in the ticketed grandstands at 8AM.
Check the website, tucsonrodeoparade.org or call 294-1280 for more information.