La Fiesta de los Vaqueros

The five-day event centers around the Tucson Rodeo, one of the top 15 professional rodeo events in North America and the largest outdoor winter rodeo on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit.

The rodeo is held at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. 6th Avenue, which seats 11,000 spectators. Related activities, including the renowned Tucson Rodeo Parade and the second Annual Tucson Women's Championship Rodeo, are scheduled in honor of Tucsonís largest annual event.

The Tucson Rodeo features five days of competition with the top 12 athletes in each event competing in a final performance on Sunday. Current and former world champions are featured throughout the five-day rodeo event.

Tucson Rodeo General Manager, Gary Williams, boasts, "this is the only time of the year when the best athletes of any one professional sport will be in Tucson."

Ticket prices are $10.00 for general admission on Wednesday and are available only at the gate. Thursday through Sunday reserved bleacher tickets are $10.00 and reserved grandstands prices are $15.00-$17.00. Special ticket prices are available on Family/Senior Days (Thursday and Friday); 4 or more reserved bleacher seats are $7.00 each, 4 or more reserved grandstands are $12.00 each. Parking is $4.00 Wednesday through Sunday.

Women's Championship Rodeo

For the second year, rodeo week kicks off with the Tucson Women's Championship Rodeo. This year's competition offers the largest committee purse in America. The Tucson Rodeo Committee's additional money brings the total given away in each event to $1,300.00. Everyone is invited to meet the Professional Cowgirls before the competition at 1:30p.m. Ticket prices for the Women's Rodeo are $6.00 general admission, children 12 and under are free. Parking is $3.00 for Sunday's events only. The all-women's event is sanctioned by the Professional Womenís Rodeo Association (PWRA).

The Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) selected the 2000 Tucson Women's Championship Rodeo as the 2000 PWRA Rodeo of the Year. The rodeo was recommended to the WPRA Board of Directors by the PWRA Director Imogene Fyffe because of the "outstanding job" the Tucson Rodeo Committee did with their first year of staging the event.

Preparing the Rodeo

Tucson Rodeo Committee Member, Tom Davenport and Denis Griggs of Griggs Products are responsible for preparing the arena for the Tucson Rodeo. These men and other volunteers spend hours before, during and after the rodeo conditioning the arena soil in order for the athletes, horses and other livestock to perform at their best.

Tucson Rodeo Parade

The Tucson Rodeo Parade is Thursday, February 26 at 9:00 a.m. Billed as the worldís longest non-motorized parade, this two-hour spectacle features western-themed floats and buggies, historic horse-drawn coaches, festive Mexican folk dancers, marching bands and outfitted riders.

An estimated 200,000 spectators view the parade each year. The parade route begins at Park Avenue and Ajo Way, continues south on Park to Irvington Road, then heads west on Irvington Road to S. 6th Avenue, ending at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Tickets for grandstand seating at the parade are $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 12 and under.

Professional Rodeo

The professional rodeo enlists about 700 contestants from the United States and Canada competing for more than $275,000 in prize money. The Tucson Rodeo, the first major outdoor event on the Pro Rodeo schedule, gives visitors an opportunity to see real-life cowboys and cowgirls display their ability in the only sport in the world developed from work skills.

The Rodeo events include steer wrestling, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, bareback riding, team roping and barrel racing. Also featured each day is Mutton Bustin', where four-to six-year-olds test their riding skills on sheep and the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association competition for ages 5-12.

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros is staged by a group of dedicated volunteers, the Tucson Rodeo Committee. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. honored the Tucson Rodeo Committee in August 2000 for its notable achievements and contributions to professional rodeo.

Contact the Tucson Rodeo Office, P.O. Box 11006, Tucson, AZ 85734, (520) 741-2233 or 1-800-964-5662, for Rodeo and Parade tickets and information.

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