Cave Creek Rodeo Days will celebrate tradition while introducing new events starting Saturday, March 18, at Cave Creek Memorial Arena. Guests can expect with family-friendly activities such as rodeo events, parades, music, and food and drink vendors.
A nonprofit, Cave Creek Rodeo Days donates to a variety of local charities while bringing awareness to the western history rooted in Arizona.
“We give thousands of dollars to local charities, and that’s why we went from three days to four days — so we can make more money to give back to the community,” said Mike Poppenweimer, Cave Creek Rodeo Days Inc. board president.
These charities have included the 100 Club, the Cave Creek Museum, Desert Foothills YMCA and Rodeo Royalty, which promotes leadership skills and provides educational scholarships for young women in the rodeo scene.
On Saturday, March 18, the organization will begin its week of activities with a parade honoring Arizona’s western heritage on Cave Creek Road. The organizers will hand out awards for float entries in several categories and will be followed by a mutton-busting event in the afternoon and a kickoff dance at the arena in the evening.
Wednesday, March 22, will spotlight another recent addition to the activities — the invitation-only Crazy Horse Memorial Fundraising Event at Mountain View Pub in Cave Creek. The Crazy Horse Memorial aims to “protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians,” according to the foundation.
This year, the board added what it hopes will become tradition as well: All Bulls, All Night on Thursday, March 23, at the Memorial Arena.
Rather than including typically recognized competitions like steer wrestling and barrel racing, this event will solely feature bull riding starting at 7:30 p.m. Food and drink vendors from 5 to 10 p.m.
“All night is exciting. The fact that it’s all action packed for the whole night, and the most exciting thing about most rodeos is the bull riding,” Poppenweimer said. “We anticipate booking anywhere from 35 to 45 bull riders.”
Friday, March 24, sees the first of three Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeos of the weekend at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 5 p.m. These rodeos will feature all eight traditional disciplines. The second and third rodeo events will follow Saturday and Sunday, with gates opening those days at 5 p.m. and noon, respectively.
“It’s a very festive atmosphere with vendor booths, and then, when it comes to the rodeo, there is going to be a lot of flair and flags, music, as well as a couple of rodeo clowns,” Poppenweimer said.
Cave Creek Rodeo Days
WHEN: Various times Saturday, March 18, and Wednesday, March 22, to Sunday, March 26
WHERE: Cave Creek Memorial Arena, 37201 N. 28th Street, Cave Creek
COST: Tickets start at $30 for Friday to Sunday for the rodeo; $45 for All Bulls, All Night