It’s one of the most exciting times of the year – Prescott Rodeo Days.
They’re right around the corner beginning June 28 and ending July 4. This year marks the 129th annual World’s Oldest Rodeo event at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.
Since 1888, this event is highlighted with eight breathtaking performances.
July 4, 1888, became the birthday of professional rodeo when a group of merchants and professional businessmen from Prescott organized the first formalized “cowboy tournament” and offered cash prizes.
A cowboy named Juan Leivas walked off with rodeo’s first professional title and these “cowboy contests” caught on. From then on, rodeo has grown into a multimillion dollar enterprise with more than 700 professional rodeos in 50 states.
The earliest rodeos in Prescott mainly appealed to the local cowboys and ranchers because it gave them the chance to bring their ranch-bred skills to town for people to see. Prescott’s rodeo “arena” was merely a tract of land roped off to keep the broncs from running away after they unseated their riders. Exact numbers of total contestants were often confused but total purses of less than $1,000 were common.
Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association (PRCA), the World’s Oldest Rodeo consists of both rough stock, or judged events (bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding) and timed events (steer wrestling, tie-down and team roping, and barrel racing).
Each cowboy and cowgirl competes for either the best time or the highest score to ultimately win cash prizes and buckles.
Most performances are held at 7:30 p.m. The exceptions are performances at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Monday.
In addition to the shows, there are plenty of acts to keep your family entertained. There will be a dance, a kiddie parade and a rodeo parade, an arts and crafts show, cowboy church and a wild horse race.
For a complete listing of events, visit www.worldsoldestrodeo.com.
It’s gonna be a fun time here in Prescott, so come join us!