Tonto Apache Tribal Recognition Days

Leading the celebration of the 40th Annual Tonto Apache Tribal Recognition Days are the members of the new Tribal Council, installed in ceremonies July 14, 2012. The council members are (from left) Donovan Waterman, Junior Tinnin, Council Chair Louise Lopez, Michelle Dean and Vice Chair Wally Davis Jr.

Photo by Andy Towle. |

Leading the celebration of the 40th Annual Tonto Apache Tribal Recognition Days are the members of the new Tribal Council, installed in ceremonies July 14, 2012. The council members are (from left) Donovan Waterman, Junior Tinnin, Council Chair Louise Lopez, Michelle Dean and Vice Chair Wally Davis Jr.


The Tonto Apache Tribe is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its tribal recognition by the federal government with four days of festivities, Wednesday, Oct. 3 through Saturday, Oct. 6.

The history

After years of hardship and unrest, the members of the Tonto Apache worked tirelessly for recognition and ultimately were officially recognized by the federal government as a tribe on Oct. 6, 1972, which is celebrated today as Tribal Recognition Day.

On May 31, 1974, President Nixon signed the 85-acre reservation for the use and benefit of the Tonto Apache Tribe.

In 1993 the Tonto Apache Tribe signed a compact with the state of Arizona to conduct gaming activities. Revenues from Mazatzal Hotel & Casino are helping with housing, scholarships and social programs within the reservation. Mazatzal Hotel & Casino is now the largest employer in Rim Country.

The festivities

The celebration starts with an opening run at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3 from Home Depot to the Tonto Apache Recreation Center gym. There will be a balloon release followed by breakfast in the gym at 8 a.m. There will be a punt, pass and kick competition at Rumsey Park at 10 a.m. For the children too young to take part in the run or contest, there will be pony rides, a bounce house and arts and crafts table.

The evening of Wednesday, Oct. 3 there will be a Tonto Apache Royalty Pageant at 6:30 p.m. in the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for dinner, with the pageant to follow.

Thursday, Oct. 4 is a day of contests. Rez Youth Games will start at noon in the gym and include “Fear Factor,” pie eating, basketball shoot-out, scavenger hunt and a From page 2

volleyball game. At 2 p.m. there will be a fry bread contest outside the log cabin.

Contests continue Friday, Oct. 5 with a horseshoe tournament at 9 a.m. at the ramada and cowboy golf at noon.

There will be a barbecue beef potluck and gospel concert at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 at the gym. A Creedence Relived (a Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band) concert, open to the public, will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 in the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino Event Center. Tickets for the concert are available in the hotel/casino gift shop or by phone reservation at 1-800-777-7529, ext. 6200.

A Traditional Social Dance is planned for 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5 in front of the log cabin.

The bulk of the festivities will fill Saturday, Oct. 6. Things get started at 7 a.m. with a march from the rodeo grounds to the tribal administration building. There will be a Crown Dancing Competition at 8 a.m. at the north end of the rodeo grounds. Also starting at 8 a.m. is another run, a 4-mile race from The Home Depot to the rodeo grounds, a Kids 1-mile run is planned for 8:15 a.m. The public is invited to participate in these two races.

A dinner will be held in the casino bingo hall at 4:30 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m. The elders of the tribe will be presented gifts at 5 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m., a comedian will perform.

A fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and the public is invited to come out and enjoy the program.

The fireworks will be followed by a private concert by the Creedence Relived band at 8:30 p.m.

For information, call (928) 472-1170, ext. 5405.

Gila County Pioneers Dinner and Dance

The annual Gila County Pioneers Dinner and Dance will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Tonto Apache Gym. Dinner features BBQ beef and chicken with all the fixin’s by Roy Haught and cowboy beans by Albert Hunt, to be served from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults, and children under 5 eat free.

Curtis Jackson will be the auctioneer, with silent and live auctions that will start around 7 p.m. All pioneer families are asked to make their favorite pie, cake or pastry for the “Pastry Auction” held each year after the dinner.

Raffle tickets are only $5 each for the chance to win a wrapped whole beef or wrapped whole pig. Other prizes include a Zane Grey Golden Boy lever action octagon barrel .22 caliber rifle and a beautiful, handmade free-standing bar with two handmade tractor seat stools. Raffle tickets are available at the Payson Roundup, Chamber of Commerce or Arizona Credit Union.

Last year, the event raised more than $19,500 that has been given out as scholarships to help the youth of the Rim Country.

Democrats Yard Sale

The Democratic Club of Northern Gila County will have a yard sale at their Democratic Headquarters, 1101 S. Beeline Highway, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.

A big variety of items will be for sale, including some furniture, office equipment, clothing, plants and much more. Also we will be serving hot dogs and hamburgers with a drink for $5 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

PAWS Bake & Shirt Sale

PAWS in the Park will be having their big bake and PAWS shirt sale in front of the Safeway store on Sept. 29 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. This sale is to benefit the animals of Rim Country, something this group has been doing for several years. The baked goods have always been great and the shirts are popular.

Arts & Crafts Fair

Ponderosa #64 Order of the Eastern Star will have an Arts & Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.

More than 30 venders will have various crafts and items available for sale. Sy Harrison, Lodge #70, will offer a lunch of deep-pit barbecue and sides on Saturday, Sept. 29. The event is at the Masonic Lodge, 200 E. Rancho Road, Payson.

Walk for the Poor

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Payson Conference is holding its annual Walk for the Poor starting at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Edward Jones office at Sawmill Crossing. The walk will be down West Main Street and back up again.

All money donated is used to provide services directly to those in need in our local community.

For more information, register to walk, or to pledge to support those who volunteer to walk, please contact Anna Urioste, (602) 301-8981, or Sue Hubenthal, (602) 980-6668.

‘An Evening of Time Out’ Gala

Time Out, Inc. will present “An Evening of Time Out” Gala to benefit its programs Saturday, Sept. 29 at The Rim Golf Club. The event starts with a no-host bar at 4:30 p.m., followed by a gourmet buffet dinner and dancing to the Starlighters.

The evening will also include silent and live auctions. Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling Cathy at (928) 474-3960 or Debbie at (480) 213-2103, online at or (928) 472-8007.

Concert season begins Sept. 30

The first concert of the 2012-2013 season of Tonto Community Concert Association is at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Payson High School Auditorium.

The featured artist is tenor Daniel Rodriguez, a New York City policeman who gained fame with a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

He is making a return engagement to the Rim Country and will be accompanied by his wife, soprano Marla Kavanaugh.

Season subscriptions are still available for the eight programs TCCA will present during its 2012-2013 season. The cost is $90 per person. Single admission tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the door if seating is available. For more information, call (928) 478-4363 or (928) 474-4189.

Free airplane orientation flights

The youth of the Rim Country, ages 8 to 17, are invited to participate in an introduction to the basics of flying at the Payson Airport from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6. This a first-come, first-to-fly event, no reservations are needed, however, youth must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must sign a permission slip, or a signed permission slip may be brought to the event.

The pilots and ground volunteers of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 810 Young Eagles Program of Payson is sponsoring the event. For details, call Marie at (928) 978-5139.

Fifth Annual Fall Apple Festival

The Pine Strawberry Business Community is presenting the Fifth Annual Fall Apple Festival the weekend of Oct. 6 and 7 at the Pine Strawberry Community Center and Ramada.

Festivities are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7.

This is a family event that this year will include the inaugural Apple Festival Antique Show in the Cultural Hall on both Saturday and Sunday. The Fifth Annual Chili Cook-Off is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. Enter your chili in the cook-off or come sample and judge the best chili in both commercial and non-commercial categories. The proceeds will go to benefit the Pine/Strawberry Food Bank. There will be activities for kids in the Cultural Hall, selections of foods from the food vendors, entertainment will include 1920s music and car buffs will be able to look at antique cars. Vendors and artisans will be selling a great diversity of wares.

There is no admission. For more information visit the Web site: or call, (928) 476-3090.

Home Depot Safety Fair

Home Depot is inviting Rim Country families to come out to its parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6 for a program to bring awareness about Fire Safety/Prevention Week, which starts Oct. 9.

Various safety organizations from the Payson Police to the Hellsgate Fire Department, as well as the Tonto Search and Rescue and the Mounted Posse will be participating. There will be various canine demonstrations and face painting will entertain families and free refreshments will be served.

If you have questions, please call Crystal at (928) 970-0973.


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