It’s August, and in the Rim Country, that means it’s rodeo season.
Payson’s World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo is Aug. 19 to Aug. 21, with performances at the Payson Event Center. The Rodeo Parade takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 on Historic Main Street.
The Northern Gila County Historical Society is helping launch rodeo season with a special program on bucking bulls from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Rim Country Museum in Green Valley Park.
The program features local stock contractor Farrell Hoosava and local rodeo champion Harry Shill.
Hoosava is a member of the Tonto Apache Tribe who grew up in the Payson area idolizing local bull riders. He learned to get on bulls at an early age and was a member of the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee in the 1980s and 1990s. He also organized the first sanctioned professional bull riding (PBR) event in Payson in 1999. Hoosava is also responsible for initiating the Payson Pro Rodeo’s Rodeo Legends Ring of Honor.
He and his wife, Mary, started AZ3-Bucking Bulls in October 2006. They began with three females they kept at Doll Baby Ranch and in 2007 purchased three more females and three young bulls. All of the Hoosavas’ bulls have been buckers and have competed in the Indian National Finals Rodeo, the Tuff Hedeman’s Championship Bull Riding (CBR) and the PBR in California and Nevada.
Harry Shill is Payson’s official Town Rodeo Ambassador. He first competed in the Payson Rodeo when he was 16 years old and spent a career developing his bull riding skills into a show — which at one time even had him parachute out of an airplane before riding a bull. He went to the National Old Timers Rodeo Association Finals in 1987.
Help launch the 2011 rodeo season and the “August Doin’s” Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Rim Country Museum in Green Valley Park. The historical society hosts will be serving refreshing watermelon for those in attendance.
Other upcoming events
The historical society will have three more special events in the coming months.
“An Evening under the Tonto Rim” will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17. The event will include a pig roast and entertainment provided by Southern Comfort, plus a tour of the original Zane Grey Cabin site by museum docents.
Tickets are now available for $35 at the Rim Country Museum. All proceeds benefit the Northern Gila County Historical Society. It is suggested participants meet at the museum to carpool, as parking at the site will be somewhat limited.
The next day, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, there will be a vintage baseball game at Green Valley Park between the Stars & Stripes and Payson Cougars, the area’s senior league team.
See how baseball was played in the 1860s. The game will feature the rules of 1860s baseball and the players will be in replicas of vintage uniforms, using vintage-style equipment.
A Pioneer Cemetery tour is planned for Saturday, Oct. 8, time to be determined. Participants will learn about Payson’s early settlers who are at rest in this historic site.
More information about these and other programs planned by the museum can be found online at rimcountrymuseums.com or by calling (928) 474-3483.