Lost Dutchman Days Parade and Rodeo… Liz was in the parade, so my day was off to an early start.
I dropped her off at the staging area, and then headed to Captain’s for biscuits and gravy, and a Bloody Mary. Captains is only a few hundred feet away from the parade route, how fortunate.
Apache Junction is a horse town. Many of the bars have hitching posts. Hell, one of the bars is called the Hitching Post…
If you will notice, we do not degrade our horses with poop bags on their rear ends. It is a moving vehicle violation not to yield right of way to horses.
The Lost Dutchman Parade is usually two hours long. Our Christmas Parade is only half as long, so you can see what really matters here. AJ is not pretentious, like Chandler or Gilbert. We are not stuck up like Scottsdale. In AJ, we call it Snottsdale.
The locals look forward to the parade and festival events. The events last several days, culminating in the parade and rodeo. They also mark the beginning of the end of Snowbird season. In March, the birds commence their migration home.
What is blue and white, and does 45 MPH in the fast lane? Wisconsin license plates.
But enough bird bashing.
Our parade is comprised of lots of old cars and trucks, and motorcycles and horses, and of course the local marching bands.
The parade celebrates the heritage of the city. When the National Anthem played, every person that was physically able stood and crossed their heart.
Veterans were cheered, the Chief of Police was applauded.
Liz was representing the Superstition Mountain Museum. Her ride was a 1956 Thunderbird. The OK Corral re-enactors followed.
The Shriners always make an appearance. When I am independently wealthy I will be a Shriner. I want to drive one of those cool little cars and it takes a certain kind of person to sport a fez!
The parade is the main build up to the rodeo. The rodeo is a sanctioned event by the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association.
These are real cowboys riding real broncos and bulls. There are the barrel events and calf roping.
My favorite event is the bull riding. It is the crowd favorite too, I imagine. These cowboys are a special sort of crazy.
I guarantee none of these riders has ever knelt during the National Anthem.
This rodeo was not without its casualties. The Wells Fargo stagecoach made an appearance in the arena. I saw the action, but got no photos of the incident. One of the horses on the team was spooked by something. He bucked and caused the team to stampede out the exit, tearing the gate off of its hinges. The passenger was thrown off the coach.
The driver acted professionally, and was able to steer the team into a Ford F150 parked on the grounds. The team was headed straight for the fairgrounds, and if not for his quick actions, there might have been some serious injuries.
The passenger was taken to the ER, and suffered head trauma, but will be okay.
Other than that, the day was uneventful, but fun. Pretty soon daily life will be back to a hum drum normalcy.