UniSource Energy Services played a major role in the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, providing volunteers who assisted in timed events, helped with security and rode in the parade.
Prescott Frontier Days, one of the largest events in Northern Arizona, ended July 4. UES was a sponsor of this year’s activities, including rodeo dances in mall parking lots, an arts and crafts show and other events.
Volunteers prepared a Western-themed UES float with hay bales and U.S. flags for the July 1 Rodeo Parade in downtown Prescott. UES employees and their families joined PowerCAT, the UES Community Action Team mascot, in the float, which was pulled by a UES truck. The state’s second-largest parade draws about 45,000 people to Prescott annually.
“This was the biggest thing in town,” said Bill Parry, UES Regional Manager in Prescott. “This is something we want to do every year. We’re happy to participate.”
Tommy Daniels, UES Service Technician, organized volunteers for rodeo activities, such as helping with the bucking chutes, parking, facilities maintenance and other tasks.
“‘The World’s Oldest Rodeo’ is a pretty big title,” Tommy said. “They call it Cowboy Christmas.”
Professional rodeo was born in Prescott on July 4, 1888 when a group of Prescott merchants and businessmen organized the first “cowboy tournament,” according to the World’s Oldest Rodeo website.
The rodeo is a major economic engine for the Prescott area, with about 27,000 spectators attending the rodeo alone, according to the website. The top rodeo contenders from around the country participate in eight performances.