In the 1800s Payson was mostly a flat, grassy spot where cowboys could gather up their scattered, near-wild herds during the fall roundups, and prepare to drive them down to Phoenix or to the railroad line in Winslow. Naturally enough, the cowboys spent a lot of time boasting and then staging impromptu contests to both establish bragging rights and win enough money to have a good time during their time off. So began the August Doin’s ... 125 years later we celebrate the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo.
The Payson Rodeo Preservation Alliance is proud to present the 125th Annual World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo Aug. 14, 15 and 16, 2009. This PRCA-sanctioned rodeo has been referred to as the best small-town rodeo in the country. In addition to the rodeo action, this year will include several special ceremonies that will focus on the 125th celebration.
The August Doin’s Celebration kicked off Aug. 7, 8 and 9 with the Gracie Lee Haught Memorial Barrel Race and Team Roping. All proceeds from this event go to help support the children in Rim Country who need medical assistance. The event included games, a barbecue, music, dancing and a whole lot of fun.
Then Rim Country Literacy presented Lasso For Literacy & Ice Cream at Green Valley Park from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 11. This event featured Western storytellers, musicians, cowboy poets and just some good, old-fashioned family fun.
On Wednesday and Thursday nights, Aug. 12 and 13, kick up your heels at two Ranch Rodeos that will feature some of the best local talent in the Rim Country. Ranch Rodeo events will consist of steer riding for youngsters between the ages of 8 and 12, horse catching, team branding, and wild cow milking. This event is in conjunction with the WPRA (Women’s Pro Rodeo Association) sanctioned rodeo with its tie-down roping, breakaway roping, team roping and barrel racing. Admission charges are $6 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and kids under 5 are free.
The first Payson Rock Band 2 Competition is from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 13 at Chapman Auto Center. This event will feature five to eight bands that will play the Wii game Rock Band 2, live on a giant jumbotron. Each band will perform two songs and will be judged by three celebrity judges. They will be awarded points in four different criteria: best score, character, dress and song difficulty. The winning band will receive tickets to the rodeo performance at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15 and will be recognized in the arena during the intermission.
During the Friday and Saturday night rodeo performances Dan Majerle, assistant coach of the Phoenix Suns, will “Shoot for Breast Cancer Research.” Al McCoy and Tim Kempton, also of the Phoenix Suns, will join Majerle. They will call the action while Majerle tries to sink as many three-pointers as he can in a 90-second period. All proceeds will go to help fight breast cancer.
The annual Rodeo Parade will return to its roots and be held on Payson’s Historic Main Street, beginning at Green Valley Park and ending at Sawmill Crossing. Al McCoy will be a celebrity announcer for the parade along with Eddie Armer. The two will be stationed in front of the Oxbow Saloon. Dan Majerle and Tim Kempton will be special ambassadors for this year’s parade. Nancy Sheppard, world famous trick rider and roper and member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Rodeo Hall of Fame, will be the parade grand marshal. The parade will feature riders, floats, classic cars, tractors, bands, cowboys, cowgirls and lots of surprises.
The Doin’s would not be complete with out several after parties and dances that will take place. The sixth annual Rodeo Reunion will be held the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 15 at Rumsey Park. The Payson Rodeo Preservation Alliance and KCMA Radio will hold a youth dance from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday Aug. 14 at the Rim Country Mall, music will be provided by DJ Craig. A family dance with a live band will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Aug. 15 at Rim Country Mall.
The adult crowd can head over to the historic Oxbow Saloon for the Payson Rodeo Committee Dance. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m. The cover charge is $5. Friday’s dance at the Oxbow will feature the Landon Shill Band and Junction 87; the Saturday dance at the saloon will have the Landon Shill Band and Rendezvous providing the music.
At the Mazatzal Casino there will be several different special events for the rodeo celebration. Those 21 and older can try their hand at riding a mechanical bull at the Mazatzal Casino Triple 777 Mechanical Rodeo from 8 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14 and Aug. 15. Entertainers at the casino during the rodeo will be Brandon Shepard and Rodeo Ruckus on Friday night with a $5 cover charge, and Sam Morrison’s Tribute to Bob Seger will take place Saturday night, admission is $15 or $10 with a Players Club Card.
• Friday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m., Payson Event Center gates open at 5 p.m. — Tough Enough To Wear Pink Benefit for Breast Cancer Research
• Saturday, Aug. 15, 1 p.m., Payson Event Center gates open at 11 a.m.; 7 p.m., gates open at 5 p.m.
• Sunday, Aug. 16, 1 p.m., Payson Event Center gates open at 11 a.m.
Preferred Seating: Online only $22
Adults: Online $14.50; at the gate $18
Seniors: at the gate, $16
Kids, 12 and under: at the gate, $7.50
Under 5: FREE
For tickets and more information please contact the chamber of commerce at 1-800-6PAYSON, 928-474-4515 or visit www.paysonrimcountry.com /augustdoins.