Pinal County Historical Society

Young Kids Take on an Old Rodeo      77th Rodeo Event 2009

   What better way to top off the Thanksgiving weekend than taking the whole family to a parade and a junior rodeo!  For 77 years the historic town of Florence, Arizona, has been the scene of its annual Junior Parada on Saturday and Sunday on the late November holiday weekend. This event's proceeeds benefits youth programs throughout Pinal County.

      The Saturday morning rodeo parade evokes times past with stagecoaches, mounted posses and young and old on horseback. However, adding to the parade are vintage vehicles, clowns, line dancers, and more so everyone who wishes is included.

     Through the many years of the Parada, celebrities such as Gene Autry, Ken Curtis of TV's Gunsmoke fame, andother notables have led the parde down Florence's historic Main Street as Parade Marshals.

     This Florence Junior Parada is the oldest youth rodeo in the United State. It pits the younest of riders against the oldest of venues to showcase their youthful rodeo skills. The rodeo attracts younsters ages five to 18 from across the Southwest. This year even three year olds can compete in sheep riding. Over the years, some of th these younsters have gone to to compete nationally. The rodeo is held on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. There is a rodeo Queen's Ball, and the American Legion Pancake Breakfast .

     While for rodeo regulars, the Florence Junior Parada is s must-see event, those who haven't spent much time in the Old West will catch the "cowboy spirit' and enjoy their time spent in Florence, the "Cowboy Cradle of the Great Southwest!

For more information about being in the parade or as a vendor contact florencejuniorparada@yahoo.com 

For  more information on the rodeo events and rules call 520-705-3717