The dust has settled out at the Payson Event Center arena and the organizers say the 128th World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo was one of the best.
“It was a very successful rodeo, one of the better ones of them,” said Rodeo Boss Bill Armstrong.
John Landino, who is vice chair of the Payson Rodeo Committee, said receipts rose by about 10 percent over last year and attendance rose 5 percent. The committee has used ticketforce.com for online sales for the past couple of years, Landino said, and this year those sales doubled.
“Saturday (night) was standing room only,” Landino said. He speculated that the good gate that night might have been due to the Arizona State University fans who stayed around after the Sun Devil scrimmage at Camp Tontozona.
The Saturday night opening was really special, he said. The United States Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard opened the night’s performance with a stirring program, Landino said.
The Tough Enough to Wear Pink performance Friday night was also successful, Landino said.
“It’s sponsored by Payson Regional Medical Center’s Healthy Woman Program and I think its booth, which was open throughout the weekend, did well,” Landino said. Proceeds from the TETWP campaign — $1 for every audience member wearing pink and $3 for every contestant wearing pink — are donated to local breast cancer support groups, he explained.
There was really only one small glitch, Landino said.
The specialty act scheduled to perform had to cancel due to a family emergency only a couple of weeks before the rodeo. Fortunately, the rodeo committee found a replacement act, Timber Tuckness, who turned into a hit with the audience, Landino said.
“He did a Village People bit where he was dressed up as one of them and then had life-size puppets on either side of him attached so that as he moved they moved in the same way. Both the kids and adults really got a kick out of that,” Landino said.