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Wet weather hasn't dampened enthusiasm for Tucson Rodeo
Tucson Rodeo

Wet weather hasn't dampened enthusiasm for Tucson Rodeo

Rain and wetness dampened the preparations for the 93rd annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. It shouldn’t get in the way of Tucson Rodeo competition.

Rodeo organizers said they’re not concerned about inclement weather for Saturday’s start. Forecasts call for only a slight chance of rain the remainder of this weekend. Tucson weather should be warmer and drier when competition resumes Thursday.

Gary Williams, general manager of the Tucson Rodeo, said an even 600 cowboys have signed up for the nine-day event, and ticket sales are running 3 percent ahead of last year’s totals.

“And last year was a good year,” Williams said.

Last year’s rodeo was the 23rd-largest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event of the year based on payout. Cowboys competed for a Tucson-record $331,218 in prizes.

This year’s event will include a new announcer (Will Rasmussen) and new clown (Mark Swingler).

“So that will be something different that the fans will notice — the regulars will notice,” rodeo spokesman Joan Liess said. “They’re a big part of the show. People love that entertainment aspect.”

Here’s a look at the rodeo’s day-by-day schedule:

Saturday
  • Notable: Opening day
  • Events: Gates open at 11 a.m., with mutton bustin’ and junior rodeo events starting at 12:30 p.m. Pro rodeo competition should start at 2 p.m., running until 4:30 p.m.
Sunday
  • Notable: Wear Pink Day. Cowboys and fans are asked to wear pink to support breast-cancer initiatives.
  • Events: Chicks n Chaps Women’s Rodeo Clinic starts at 8 a.m. Gates open at 11 a.m., with mutton bustin’ and junior rodeo events starting at 12:30 p.m. Pro rodeo competition starts at 2 p.m.
Monday-Tuesday
  • Events: Slack competition starts at 8 a.m. and runs until the mid-afternoon. Admission for the slack events is $5.
Thursday
  • Events: The Tucson Rodeo Parade starts at 9 a.m. Gates open at 11 a.m., with pro rodeo competition starting at 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 23
  • Events: Gates open at 11 a.m., with pro rodeo competition starting at 2 p.m. The Coors Barn Dance starts at 4 p.m.; tickets are $5 for rodeo attendees.
Saturday, Feb. 24
  • Events: Gates open at 11 a.m., with pro rodeo competition starting at 2 p.m. The Coors Barn Dance starts at 4 pm.; tickets are $5 for rodeo attendees.
Sunday, Feb. 25
  • Events: Gates open at 11 a.m., with pro rodeo competition starting at 2 p.m. The Coors Barn Dance starts at 4 pm.; tickets are $5 for rodeo attendees.

Contact reporter Norma Gonzalez at 520-262-3265 or ngonzalez@tucson.com.

Sports reporter

Norma started at the Star in 2017. She's a sports reporter covering all types of beats. She graduated from the University of Texas–Pan American in 2014 and recently graduated from the Associated Press Sports Editors Diversity Fellowship program.

Related to this story

The 2018 La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo Parade, the nation's longest non-motorized parade, and a fixture in Tucson every February since 1925.

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