It's a party and it's for a good cause -- it's the annual parade for the 119th Payson August Doin's.
Rim Country Arizonans for Children, Inc. is producing the parade this year. The group of volunteers works to benefit abused, abandoned and neglected children in northern Gila County who have become wards of the state.
Arizona Public Service and the Rotary Club of Payson are serving as parade sponsors. Stephanie Turlukis is the parade chairperson.
"The parade lasts over two hours and normally has around 90 organizations represented," she said.
The parade starts at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 16. The theme is "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."
There are 14 categories in the parade, the top entry in each will be awarded a "Best Overall" certificate, and from those winners, recipients of three gift certificates will be chosen, Turlukis explained.
The parade categories will be: costumed rider, female; costumed rider, male; costumed riding group; costumed group; horse drawn; representation of theme; overall float; mining; lumber industry; ranching; civic/volunteer; color guard; classic vehicles; marching group.
Judges this year are Bill Schwind, director of the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, Ted Anderson, manager of the Payson Airport, and Judge Ronnie McDaniel, the Payson Justice of the Peace.
Town Manager Fred Carpenter, Gila County Constable Eddie Armer and local disc jockey DJ Craig, plus Lu and John Carpino of KRIM radio, will be announcing the entries along the parade route.
The parade starts at Rancho Road and runs south along the Beeline to the Bashas' parking lot, just north of Highway 260.
Congressman Rick Renzi will serve as the 2003 parade grand marshal, plus the Calendar Cowgirls, Bison Ranch and rodeo royalty have been invited to participate as guests of the producing group. The 119th Payson Rodeo's special entertainer, Lynn Payne, also is scheduled to be part of the parade, Turlukis said.
Youngsters in the staging area like to get into the act by keeping entrants cool with squirt guns as they take their place in the line between 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., Saturday.
Contact Stephanie Turlukis at (928) 474-2640 for more information.