Statewide Entrants Ride In 2007 Parade

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The official mascot of Super Bowl 42 is comin' to town.

Wild Western women and starlets just might catch a football at the Rodeo Parade Saturday morning.

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El-Zaribah Shrine Temple is the only temple that owns its camels. It has three and they are always on the road, going to different locations throughout the state. The fellows really like to dress up and show off the animals.

Spike the Super Ball, mascot of Super Bowl 42, wearing his unmistakable Arizona sunglasses and blue sneakers, is the lead entry.

Spike will be followed down the Beeline Highway by rodeo royalty, a WWII Willy's Jeep, dancers on a Dodge and a canine drill team just to name a few.

Spectators enjoy watching entrants walk by, but what makes a group want to participate?

The main reason locals and folk from across the state said they have entered is simple: FUN.

"Last year I had just opened my store and the parade came by the store. I was so bummed I was not in it, that I vowed I would be in it in 2007," Chrisy Wickstrom said. She owns Chrisy's Cottage.

Being the kind of dame that makes a pair of overalls look like lingerie is the theme she and her "Cowgirl Starlets" chose to exemplify.

The Flagstaff Kennel Club will drive down with their canine drill team. Drill members range in size from Chihuahua to Anatolia shepherds. It should be interesting to see what variety of pets perform.

Dancers will hoedown from the flatbed of a Chapman Auto Center Dodge.

Darwin Petersen and his wife Bobbie will drive the Peterbuilt truck replicas he custom-designed.

Look for at least two Red Hat Society clubs to field entries.

The Phoenix J.C.'s will be well-represented in the parade -- the Comancheros and the Illicit Ladies and Co. will ride.

A horse team from Show Low will pull an antique Studebaker covered wagon with the canvas sides pulled up.

"This is the way the West was started and we thought it would be a good real estate theme," said Jesse Wallace of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors.

The Olguins are joining the parade from Casa Grande.

Rudy decided to bring his wagon this year.

Mary is coming with the "Wild Women of the West," a group of women from all over the state that portray women of the West in period costumes. Mary will be dressed as Fanny Sperry, the first woman ever to participate in a rodeo.

"Were going to camp and make a weekend of it," Mary said.

The "Forgotten Stars of the Western Screens" will not have as far to travel, as these entrants are part of the Strawberry Patchers quilting guild.

"We represent the women who kept the homestead while the stars were gallivanting across the West," Debbie Stanton said.

Shriners will be peppered throughout the parade with camels and vehicles. "Together with the "Sabbar" Shrine Temple in Tucson, we service some 2700 children with orthopedic and burn disabilities," Jim Reid, the Shriner in charge of group coming to Payson for the rodeo parade, said.

There will be many other participants in the parade including: the Gila County Sheriff's Posse, Lion's Club, Zane Grey Cabin docents, Hashknife Pony Express Riders, Coca-Cola, Payson Humane Society and Corporation Commissioner, Kris Mayes.

Civil Air Patrol Cadets will carry Old Glory, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Marine Corps League Detachment flags.

The Tonto Basin Marine Corps League will bring their 1953 Willys Jeep with a faux-soldier and a rear-mounted .30 caliber machine gun.

Post commanders from local veterans organizations are the grand marshals of the 2007 rodeo parade.

The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce sponsors the parade.

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