It’s almost here, the Tucson Rodeo Parade. While people back east are counting the weeks until the snow melts, Tucsonans are gearing up for the 86th annual Fiesta de los Vaqueros. Some people in town got a federally-mandated vacation day with President’s Day on Monday. But those who didn’t are probably basking in the two days of freedom they have at the end of the week, those two wonderful days known as Rodeo Days.
Many Tucson schools will be closed on Thursday, February 24, 2011 to allow people to take their place in line at the Tucson Rodeo Parade. It gets underway this year at 9:00 a.m. beginning at Park and Fair Avenues. The parade ends at the North end of the Tucson Rodeo grounds. The judges and reviewing stands will be located on the southside of Irvington, close to 6th Avenue.
The main claim-to-fame of this parade is that it is the largest non-motorized parade in the country. That’s definitely worth missing a day of school for, just ask any kid.
This year the Grand Marshal of the parade is none other than Joel D. Valdez, currently serving as a special adviser to Robert N. Shelton of the UA Foundation. Valdez has a pretty impressive resume with a stint as a City Manager of Tucson for 16 years and another 20 spent serving as a U of A senior Vice-President. He joins other notable mover and shakers who have served as a Tucson Rodeo Parade Marshal including: former Governor Rose Mofford, Jim Click Ford, Lute Olson, Rex Allen Jr. and the Sons of the Pioneers.
Parking for the parade is available near the Rodeo grounds but is on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are advised to arrive early for a good seat. For views of pictures of last year’s rodeo, see the Tucson Rodeo Parade website here.
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