There is a common link between Payson's greatest political adversaries: those who want growth at any cost, and those who do not want growth at any cost.
The track upon which their opposing trains of thought merge is that this area's history and traditions must be kept alive at any cost. Heck, along with the pine trees and the cool air and the friendly folks, the history and traditions of Payson and the Rim country are the reasons most of us chose to live here rather than anywhere else in the world.
Of course, Payson will always have its history. But the future of its traditions is entirely up to us.
It's no secret that Payson, once known far and wide as "The Festival Capital of Arizona," has lost sufficient events over the years to barely qualify for the title "Festival Capital of Northern Gila County." Nor is it hush-hush that, of the festivals that have survived, attendance over the years has continued to drop to the point where some like the June Bug Blues Festival may join the Logger's Festival and the Country Music Festival and many other Payson "traditions" in extinction.
What can we do?
Well, we can stand back and watch them die off, one by one. Or we can be determined to not let that happen. For starters, we can show up, en masse, at Payson's grandest, trademarked festival tradition the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo no matter how we feel about rodeo, bulls, broncos, dust or children riding sheep.
And we can look at the list of local sponsors who are doing their best to keep this and other Payson traditions alive, and we can give their businesses our support to let them know we appreciate their efforts.
And then ... we do it again when the next festival rolls around.
It's a simple plan. But if you care enough about Payson and its traditions to invest a few hours of your attention once every couple of months, it will work. Guaranteed.