The Tucson Rodeo pays homage to the roots of the town. Known as the frontier in 1925, the first rodeo was held during Prohibition. The event attracted so much attention that the state Prohibition Director took a team of federal officials to the town and found dozens of stills and hundreds of gallons of moonshine — which they had to confiscate and destroy.
With such a salacious and industrious history, it’s no wonder the event continues to draw people from far and wide. Much like the rodeo, eegee’s is a mainstay in the Tucson area, even if we’ve only been around since the 1970s. We’ll tell you more about why you should go, and where you can find a nearby eegee’s to get the perfect refreshment.
The rodeo is held from February 18 – 26, 2023, and you’re free to come on any or all of the days that strike your fancy. Ticket prices for the shows aren’t available on the website as of now, but prices typically range from $36 – $77. You can also buy a grazing ticket for $18, which doesn’t include the tickets to the shows but does get you access to shopping, dining, and the overall buzz of the crowd.
Here’s what we know about the current schedule of events:
Parking will be at the event, and the lot will be big enough to accommodate the large crowds. Please note that there’s a clear-bag policy, meaning you can only carry in see-through containers that are no bigger than 12” x 6” x 12”.
There will be food and drinks at the Tucson Rodeo, but we don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you make an extra stop. eegee’s has managed to thrive in Arizona because we embody the best of small business. We’ve made it this long because we truly care about the local community.
When the rodeo is in town, we mark the occasion with a special flavor of the month. It’s these kinds of traditions that make our city unique, and it’s your way to really embrace life as a local if this is your first time at the rodeo. When people come in for a eegee, a silky, smooth frozen beverage with just the right amount of sweet, it’s usually the cap of a truly memorable day at the rodeo. (Feel free to throw in a fresh sub or salad for good measure.)
There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re a first-timer at the rodeo. We’ll give you a run-down, so it’s easier to pick and choose which days to go.
This type of racing has no judges. It’s one woman, one horse, and three barrels, and the only metric is time. The stopwatch is out as the horse races around a cloverleaf pattern of barrels. It only takes one hesitation for the rider to lose. Horses need to be fast but also smart enough to avoid knocking over the obstacles.
Horns and weight are just the start of the risks that riders take when they mount the back of such an impressive animal. Fans love to see the sheer audacity of the riders, and it ranks as one of the most popular events at the rodeo. During the Tucson rodeo, riders can use one hand only. If they use their other hand, they’re out of the game. Balance, coordination, and reflexes are all on display in this feat of strength.
This is the only team event at the competition, and it’s built on the backs of two talented ropers. They must be extremely attuned to one another because the steer gets a head start beforehand. After the steer reaches a certain part of the course, the barrier is released, the header starts off, and the heeler lags a little behind. They have to catch and tie the steer faster than their competitors.
Tie-down roping goes back to the Old West, where cowboys would have to immobilize cows for treatment if they were sick or injured. In the Tucson rodeo, the calf starts in a box and gets a head start based on the distance of the arena. Once the calf is roped, the horse knows to stop. Afterward, the cowboy gets off his horse, runs to the calf, and then picks it up by hand and ties its three legs together.
While riding a bull may be the most dangerous, bareback riding is likely the most physically demanding. The muscles and the joints are truly put to the test, and competitors have to be ready to endure some serious strain. During the competition, the cowboy is judged on where their toes are while they spur the horse.
Saddle bronc riding is a little more precise than some of the other events, as the movements of the rider must be perfectly timed with the movements of the horse. The result is a fluid ride, one that provides a nice contrast if you want a more subdued event than the standard bull rides.
The staff at eegee’s is excited for the rodeo. The people who come in, whether they go for a day or every event, are people that we can’t wait to talk to. This is our city, and we intend to make the most of the talent and events that travel to our borders.