This year’s 136th annual World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo promises to be bigger and better than ever with new musical acts, line dancers and an extended rodeo royalty pageant on top of all the rodeo action.
The event kicks off Aug. 15 and runs through Aug. 17, with most of the events at the Payson Event Center, 1400 S. Beeline Highway, at the south end of town.
Rodeo performances at the event center start with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association events Aug. 15. The performance starts at 6 p.m. Admission is a can of food, which will benefit area food banks. Events include barrel racing, team roping and breakaway calf roping. Additional WPRA events follow at 7 p.m. Friday and performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Friday is the Tough Enough to Wear Pink night. Fans and cowboys alike wear pink to raise money for cancer support groups in Payson. The Miss Rodeo Arizona entrants will also appear at the event, taking a lap around the arena.
On Saturday, Aug. 17, the day kicks off with the Rodeo Parade at 9 a.m. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Arizona” and will proceed east along Main Street from Green Valley Park. Five Guys and Back to Basics are sponsoring the parade, organized for the eighth year by Kiwanis of Zane Grey Country.
Kiwanis is still looking for volunteers to help with the parade.
Bobby Davis, with Kiwanis, said volunteers would help with staging and organizing floats. A free breakfast is offered to all volunteers starting at 6:15 a.m. Saturday at the Payson Senior Center. Staging takes place between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and most volunteers will be done by 11 a.m., he said.
To help, contact Davis at 928-978-4323.
On Saturday there are two performances at the event center. Family day kicks off at 1 p.m. with the APS Clown Troupe, face painting and fun for the kids at the Kids Corral. There will be roping, panning for gold and Lil’ Sheriff swearing- ins. Come see Shady Kate and she’ll fix you up. For adults, there will be “shotgun weddings” and pictures with the Jail Posse.
Then Saturday evening is the patriot performance to honor fallen, wounded and returning veterans.
The evening performance starts at 7 p.m. and gates open at 5 p.m. Around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, the 2019 Miss Rodeo Arizona will be crowned in the arena prior to the rodeo.
And Desert Gals, a line-dancing group, will perform at the rodeo Saturday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the dance tent at the rodeo grounds.
The Official After Party and Rodeo Dance returns to the Rodeo Grounds starting at 9 p.m. featuring David Kane with Open Range on Friday and Western Fusion Saturday night. Ticket holders are admitted free. All others will pay a $5 cover at the door (an adult must accompany anyone under 21).
Pre-sale discounted tickets are available at Bob’s Western Wear and the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are more expensive at the gate. Rodeo and ticket information is available at 928-474-9440 or visit paysonprorodeo.com.
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