Stake your claim to 120 years of Western heritage and take part in the festivities of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo.
The big event is Aug. 20-22, but Rodeo Week in the Rim country starts Saturday, Aug. 14 when the Rodeo Jail Committee and friends start selling rodeo buttons.
Not only are these buttons commemorative pieces, but they also are "immunity" from "all-in-fun" sanctions if you don't wear the recommended attire for Rodeo Week: Western fashions. Only $2 each, the proceeds from the buttons are used for the Payson Rodeo Committee's scholarship fund.
When a button is sold, the buyer will be asked if they would like to buy a raffle ticket as well. Among the prizes to be awarded in the raffle this year are a saddle, halter and horse brushes. The buttons and raffle tickets will be sold throughout the week.
The buttons also are available at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the rodeo grounds at the Payson Event Center and at businesses throughout town, including the Payson Roundup office.
As the name implies, the Rodeo Jail Committee is also responsible for one of the week's ongoing special events: arresting your friends and family members when you "buy" a warrant for $10. The minimum "get out of jail" fine is $25, but you can up the ante if you are so inclined. These proceeds also benefit the scholarship fund.
Other events through the week include:
- a special, invitation-only rodeo mixer at Chapman Auto Center;
- visiting rodeo royalty, Miss Rodeo Arizona Tamara Clause and Miss Turquoise Circuit Katie Hill;
- the release of the new Git a Rope! Publishing, Inc. book, "Rodeo 101, History of the Payson, Arizona Rodeo 1884-1984," by Jayne Peace and Jinx Pyle, with book signings at several sites around town;
- fun and festivities at the Mazatzal Casino;
- the Women's Professional Rodeo Association event on Thursday night with barrel racing and roping -- this is a food drive too, admission is free with the contribution of a can of food;
- the rodeo parade, sponsored by APS -- with the theme, "How the West was fun" -- Saturday, Aug. 21, starting at 9 a.m., on the Beeline Highway, at Rancho Road, there will be between 70 and 80 entries; and
- the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rodeos on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon.
Look for all the details in the official program of the World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo in the Aug. 17 edition of the Payson Roundup.