This year Tucson is celebrating 90 years of Fiesta de los Vaqueros! It’s such an important part of our local culture, all of our schools shut down for two days to celebrate. Western wear is acceptable wherever you venture in our Tucson. The events kick off with the longest non-mechanized parade in the world.
The streets are lined with families in anticipation of the start of the parade. Prime viewing areas fill up in the early morning hours. Last year we didn’t have to bundle up to keep warm. Yes, it can get cold in Tucson!
Each year we have a Grand Marshall. In 2014 it was popular local newscaster Dan Marries. This year UA Coach Jerry Kindall will be riding the wagon.
There’s plenty of bands starting with The Pride of Arizona. All of our local high school bands come out too. UA is lucky, they usually march before all the horses and the presents they leave on the streets. The parade marshals do their best to clean it up as quickly as possible.
The internationally renowned Tucson Boy’s Chorus makes an annual appearance.
It wouldn’t be a rodeo parade with the Royalty!
Our Indian Nations!
Of course hundreds of beautiful horses.
You know the parade is over when the street sweepers make their appearance.
We moved to Tucson in 1971. I worked downtown at what was then called Mountain Bell. Back in those days the rodeo parade came through the city and out to the rodeo grounds. Afterwards we would be walking outside with the air filled with the aroma of horse manure. Many years ago the city brass decided it was unsafe to continue the parade on the narrow streets lined with people and distractions for the horses. It was a good move and it was easier for families to get great viewing spots along the way. If you’re in Tucson February 26, 2015, come join the fun. If you’re a long time resident or visitor, please share your favorite rodeo memory in the comments below. Fiesta de los Vaqueros, it will never be in English, just not the same ring to it! Enjoy!!