The Rodeo Parade Committee mourns the loss of one of its iconic members, Bud Krietemeyer. Bud was an active member of the committee for over 54 years, more than half of the parade’s 95 years of existence and the longest tenured member in our history. He volunteered to assist in the annual parade several years before becoming a committee member in 1966. During that time, he has served numerous volunteer positions including Parade Committee Chair (1989-90), and Committee Secretary, and working with the sub committees that oversee horse contracting, transportation of wagons and buggies, maintenance and repair of harness and wagons, and maintenance of the museum and workshop buildings at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. He was also a member of the Tucson Rodeo Committee for over 35 years, overseeing vendors and concessions at the rodeo.
Bud grew up in Southern Arizona and Tucson and had an extensive background with horses and horse-drawn vehicles. He drove multiple-team hitch wagons in performances at Old Tucson and for our committee’s entries in numerous parades over the years including the Phoenix Rodeo Parade, Scottsdale Parada del Sol, Willcox Rex Allen Days Parade, and Helldorado Days Parade in Tombstone. His experience as a driver and equestrian was a valuable asset to the Tucson Rodeo Parade.
For many years Bud had overseen the horse warm-up area prior to the parade. His knowledge of horses, harness, and wagon mechanics served the Parade Committee well. As an all horse-drawn parade, it is important to have the horses properly warmed up and exercised prior to joining the queue on the streets. During the warmup, Bud observed the horses for behavior and posture to indicate possible problems with the animals. He checked harness for safety and made sure that the combination of horse, harness, wagon, and driver were all compatible and working properly to ensure a safe journey through the streets of Tucson.
Bud was also an accomplished chuck wagon cook. He served up meals for groups such as the Boy Scouts, the student contestants at the University of Arizona Intercollegiate Rodeo, and for committee members and guests at the annual Tucson Rodeo Parade Trail Ride.
Bud was the longest serving member in the history of the Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee, and the Parade Committee’s service recognition award is named for him. The Rodeo Parade Committee has a deep gratitude for Mr. Krietemeyer for his years of dedicated service in producing a 95-year historical tradition that presents a rolling history of Western heritage and culture of Southwestern Arizona.
Ride with the angels Bud! Rest in Peace!