Some wild women will be whooping it up in the Payson Rodeo Parade.
The Wild Women of the West are once again riding in the August Doin's parade. This organization's members have been riding in parades and special events for 34 years.
The Wild Women of the West organization is horsewomen who portray actual women from the 1800s to the 1915 rodeo cowgirls.
It began in 1973 with five members, organized by Dorothy Doquard and her friends because they wanted to ride their horses in parades.
The women in this organization are housewives and professionals dedicated to the preservation of the history of the women they each personally portray. Among the famous and infamous women portrayed are Lulu Parr, Sally Skull, Josephine Earp, Lola Montez, Carry Nation, Pearl Hart, Molly B'Damn, Fanny Sperry, Mattie Silke, Frenchy McCormick, Lotta Crabtree, Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane.
Not only did these historic figures use knives, dynamite, whips, rifles, daggers, swords and pistols -- and one a Bible -- but a majority of these notorious females also used their beauty and charm to leave a mark on the "Old West."
Each member must complete six months of membership qualifications after making two guest rides.
The qualifying activities include researching her chosen character and giving a report about the woman at the end of the qualification period. Each member must know her character well and dress as authentically as possible, with her costume relating directly to that character's reputation or profession.
This group can be seen in all its glory in parades throughout Arizona, as well as out of state. Other activities in which the women participate are lectures, school appearances, historical society gatherings, rodeo grand entries, and Western festivals. The group takes pride in civic involvement, as well as assisting other equestrian groups in their charity endeavors and sponsoring fund-raisers for other nonprofit organizations.
In 2007 Wild Women of the West will have a poker ride fund-raiser celebrating 35 years. There will be sign in at the Payson Feed & Pet Supply.
The group is always looking for new members.
For more information on the Original Wild Women of the West Characters Inc., contact President Vickie Williams (a.k.a. Lulu Belle Parr) at (623) 465-1876 or Sue Francis (a.k.a. Lola Montez) at (928) 472-7546 or (928) 951-3735, or visit the Web site www.wildwomenofthewest.com.