As the country goes back to normal, many states are opening up businesses and entertainment attractions. People are already filling up airlines for trips and vacations, and many of them are headed out to other parts of the country. IBut states like Arizona are preparing for local tourists who can’t wait to go back to the saddle. One of the many attractions for local tourists are the rodeo, and Arizona has one of the oldest in the world.
The Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo is back in business starting June 28 all the way to Independence Day. Tickets are selling like hotcakes as the world’s oldest rodeo is sure to bring in the thrills, chills, laughter, and wonder of the Wild West. Take a break from the real world and watch the spectacle or even be part of the festivities.
Come as You Are or Dress the Part
You don’t need to dress up for the rodeo, but going full cowboy or cowgirl certainly helps with the immersion. However, if you’re going with your kids, dressing up is a must. A trip to a few women’s clothing boutiques should get you everything you need. Dressing up the part will make you feel like a part of the show, similar to wearing a jersey to support your home team but to a greater degree. Of course, you won’t be wearing your purchases for that one day at the rodeo. Western-style clothing is quite fashionable and is generally considered chic and hip.
Watch the Parade or Join the Festivities
Take to the streets and join the festivities. Whether you watch on the sidelines or march with the horses, the Prescott parade is sure to be a great experience. The parades are a prelude to all the activities, allowing spectators to see participants up close, as well as the horses in a calmer setting. There will be music, dancing, colorful costumes, floats, carriages, and more than a few performers. The parade can last for an hour or two, so find a cool vantage point or do some cardio a few weeks prior if you’re participating.
Embrace Your Inner Foodie
Put your diet on hold and indulge in a day of exquisite delicacies. Have your fill of authentic Mexican food, all kinds of barbecue, Navajo frybread, pizza, hotdogs, and all things deep-fried. Of course, you can still find healthy food if you want to stick to your diet. However, you’ll be depriving yourself of all the tasty and savory delights available in every stall and who can resist fried deep-fried twinkies! Grab a few bags of kettle corn for the show, and perhaps a couple of roast beef sandwiches for later in the night.
Do Some Shopping
You’ll find everything from belt buckles to bull horn art pieces at the rodeo grounds. You’ll encounter serious shoppers looking for intricate leather pieces or complex craftsmanship, but you’ll also see the usual visitors out for a few cowboy hats or commemorative mugs. A walk through the shops will give you a picture of olden times when people worked with their hands and every item had to be meticulously crafted. If you brought your kids, expect a lot of pointing and amazed looks. Grab a couple of souvenirs and have a chat with the merchants and craftsmen if you’re interested in the bulkier and more expensive items.
Watch the Show
Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo holds two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. While attending a show during high summer afternoons might be daunting, the 5,000 feet elevation keeps things cool. The seats are covered, so you don’t have to worry about sunburn. Shows during the evening are cooler, but the glare from the spotlights can be glaring compared to natural light. Either way, expect a wild ride once the show starts.
Most shows start slow (if you could call it that) with a wild horse race. Things get physical with steer wrestling. Cowboys jump from their horses unto running bulls and force them to the ground. Skill and accuracy are highlighted in tie-down roping, where cowboys use their lassos to rope a calf and hold it immobile. The action ramps up a notch in bareback riding. Cowboys will ride a bucking horse but without the security of a saddle.
Bronco riding pairs some of the toughest of horses with some of the toughest cowboys. The pace is fast and the action will have you at the edge of your seats if you’re not already standing. The highlight of the rodeo will always be the bull ride. Danger shoots up as cowboys pit themselves against 2,000-pound bulls, risking their lives in a display of skill, instincts, tenacity, and sheer courage.
Forget the problems of the present and get lost in the wonders and adventure of the Old West. Get your dose of action and adrenaline in one of the biggest spectacles in the world, right at the heart of Arizona.