rodeo

Organizers say the August rodeo will take place this year, but may be delayed because of COVID-19.

The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee plans to hold the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo Thursday, Aug. 20 through Saturday, Aug. 22.

John Landino, a member of the committee said, “The dates may be fluid based on Arizona state requirements, but the rodeo will go on even if the date is delayed.”

He said Prescott is planning on its rodeo the last weekend of June through July 4.

“If that goes well, we feel confident about the August dates.”

The tentative schedule

Thursday, Aug. 20, Women’s Professional Rodeo Barrel Racing, gates open at 5 p.m., performance at 6 p.m., Payson Event Center, admission is a can of food for area food banks.

Friday, Aug. 21, Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo Performance, gates open at 5 p.m., performance at 7 p.m., Payson Event Center. Proceeds benefit local breast cancer awareness programs, see Payson Pro Rodeo website for ticket information.

Friday, Aug. 21, Annual Payson Pro Rodeo Boots and Bling Rodeo Dance with Western Fusion, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., free with rodeo ticket, $5 cover without, Payson Event Center rodeo grounds.

Saturday, Aug. 22, Rodeo Parade, sponsored by Zane Grey Kiwanis, on Historic West Main Street, 9 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 22, Coca-Cola Family Day Rodeo Performance, gates open at 11 a.m., performance at 1 p.m., Payson Event Center.

Saturday, Aug. 22, Special Patriotic Rodeo Performance, gates open at 5 p.m., performance at 7 p.m., active military receive free admission, Payson Event Center.

Saturday, Aug. 22, Annual Payson Pro Rodeo Boots and Bling Rodeo Dance with Western Fusion, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., free with rodeo ticket, $5 cover without, Payson Event Center rodeo grounds.

Prescott’s plans

Howard Fischer, with Capitol Media Services, recently reported on Prescott’s plans.

The “world’s oldest rodeo” can take place as scheduled this summer in Prescott, despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

“The cowboys and the bulls can get ready,” Gov. Doug Ducey said May 28. But the governor said he’s not prepared to say just yet whether there will be anyone in the stands to watch the competitors.

“You’re talking about light years away in the world that we’re living in and the change that we’ve seen in the state of Arizona week to week,” Ducey said.

J.C. Trujillo, the general manager of Prescott Frontier Days, told Capitol Media Services he’s planning for an audience, albeit one much smaller than normal.

Trujillo acknowledged that the decision on who gets to watch the event live ultimately might not be his, what with whatever restrictions the state imposes on crowds. But even if there’s no one to watch, he said it would go on.

The question of what happens in Prescott — and Payson — this summer is not an idle one.

Recently city and state officials in Cheyenne, Wyo. announced that Frontier Days there was being canceled due to the pandemic. The Associated Press said this is the first time that the event, billed as the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, has been called off in its 124-year history.

In Payson, the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo was canceled because of the coronavirus. The annual event was scheduled for Thursday, May 14 through Saturday, May 16.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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