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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Horsing Around

Horsing+Around

For the next week, the Tucson Rodeo will add a touch of the Old West to the Old Pueblo.

The 87th annual Tucson Rodeo opened on Saturday at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. The Tucson Rodeo attracts between 50,000 to 70,000 attendants a year, according to Joe Salazar, the head of marketing and promotions, adding that the stadium can seat about 10,000 people a day.

Salazar said the entire rodeo association made $40 million last year, but in Tucson it just broke even. Most of the money made from the rodeo goes back to the community.

“We give a lot of our money away to charity,” Salazar said. “We also have a foundation at the university.”

The foundation is an endowment that issues scholarships for agricultural students. The rodeo also gives money to the Lions Club, rotary clubs, and high school athletic teams around Tucson. Salazar added that most of the clubs and organizations get money from the rodeo because they help promote and produce the event. Additionally, money goes toward helping contestants cover medical expenses if they were to get hurt.

Salazar said he has been riding horses all his life, although he has never been in a rodeo. He said he enjoyed working at the rodeo because “there are a wide variety of people” who help produce the event.

Gayle Minas, a UA alumna, said she was in town this weekend to see her son and daughter and that this kind of event is a good, positive thing to do. She enjoyed the rodeo because she grew up around horses, she said.

Minas accompanied her daughter, Natalie, who is a sophomore studying family studies and human development. Natalie Minas said she thought the rodeo is a big deal in Tucson and that it would be fun to show her mom the more cultural side of the city, rather than just what the campus has to offer.

“This is such an important part of Tucson’s history and now that I live in Tucson I felt it was an important part of my college career,” Natalie Minas said.

Adam Minas, Natalie’s brother and a student at Pima Community College studying business management, also said he enjoyed the rodeo.

“Watching all the bull riding and the lassoing was fun,” he said. He added that it was cool to see a side of Tucson that most people normally don’t see.

The rodeo offers many different types of events to watch, including bucking broncos, bull riding, barrel racing, roping and rodeo clown entertainment as well as live country music and a barn dance later in the day. The rodeo is open from about 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day until Sunday.

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