Excitement is on the way! Taking place in Payson AZ during August, the Payson Rodeo, also called the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo, is scheduled this year for August 17th – 19th. As the oldest continuous rodeo, this awesome PRCA event is sure to be a crowd-pleaser filled with action, talent and fun. Bringing crowds to Payson, it has been named the “Best Small Town Rodeo” by True West Magazine.
Founded in 1882, the town of Payson AZ was first known as Green Valley; in 1884 the town’s name was changed, honoring Illinois Representative Lewis E. Payson.
“Arizona Charlie”, Abraham Henson Meadows, was one of the organizers of the first Payson Rodeo, along with John Collins Chilson; held in mid-town pasture in 1884, it was mainly a handful of cowboys and ranchers testing their roping, riding skills and horse speed in friendly competition among neighbors. Silver dollar pitching was also one of the events, with others soon added. The venue was later moved to Main Street from 1885 to 1926, in spite of the sometime occasion of stock getting loose; cowboys would rope the animal and return it to the corral, often to the excitement of the crowds watching.
This year, some of the events include:
- WPR Barrel Racing
- Mutton Bustin & Youth Steer Riding
- Rodeo Parade on Main Street
- Coca-Cola Family Day
- Tough Enough to Wear Pink Performance
The Rodeo Parade follows the heritage of the rodeo; its presence on Main Street is sure to be a colorful and entertaining event. It happens on Saturday, August 19th from 8 am to 11 am.
Purchase tickets in person at the following sites:
- The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, 100 W. Main Street
- Bob’s Western Wear, 605 S. Beeline Highway
- Circle K in Star Valley, 3675 Highway 260
- Circle K’s in Payson, 606 N. Beeline Highway and 1009 S. Beeline Highway
- Justin Boots
- and more
Benefiting from the rodeo is the “Protect Our West” Program, which helps the Wildland Firefighting Foundation. With all the wildfires presently burning in Arizona, this foundation is especially important to the Payson AZ area, and your support is so valuable to it by attending the Payson Rodeo.
Media teams covering the Payson Rodeo include the Cowboy Lifestyle Network, the leading online source and community for everything Western and Country; Ak-Chin Indian Community; Earnhardt Auto Centers and Papa John’s Road Team. This Payson AZ PRCA event will be filled with tradition and action, so be sure to be there.