The Arizona Black Rodeo will release its animals and talents from the chute at a new location as it saddles its show to WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road.
Touted as the “Hottest Show on Dirt,” the indoor event will be held at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 15 with limited seating for safety in the comforts of the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center.
The climate-controlled event space consists of a 120,000-square-foot Equidome with 3,400 permanent seats encasing “a sunken arena, three interior VIP suites and a concourse for vendors and other activities.”
Hosted by the Arizona Informant, an African American newspaper based in Phoenix, attendees required to wear a face covering upon entry, can look forward to steer wrestling, calf roping, bull riding, steer undecorating, ladies barrel racing, a Best Dressed Western Contest, a special tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers and first responders and more.
Chosen Arizona Black Rodeo Grand Marshals are O.D. Harris, newly-elected Chandler City Council member who has a media business, and Dr. Ben Chavis, president/CEO of the National Newspapers Publishers Association whose history in social and political activism along with Civil Rights for Blacks spans decades.
Vice Mayor of the city of Maricopa Henry Wade Jr., and retired Mesa park ranger/activist John Goodie were the 2019 Grand Marshalls.
Stabled for a year after the pandemic hit the world like a raging bull, the Arizona Black Rodeo Association will present the Arizona Black Invitational Rodeo, highlighting local and national African American rodeo competitors, while educating and celebrating the heritage and culture.
Arizona Black Rodeo Director Lanette Campbell detailed the mission of the Arizona Black Rodeo Association with a focus on its core values including youth, community, agriculture, education and entertainment.
“The Arizona African American community celebrates heritage, culture, and creates memories,” Ms. Campbell said.
“The Arizona Black Rodeo Association will organize an annual rodeo that will promote an appreciation for our cultural heritage, provide education about the role African Americans played in shaping the history of the West while providing youth with a hands-on experience. The annual rodeo is a gathering place where family values will be honored and individuals of all ages will be entertained.”
The whole family can enjoy the Arizona Black Rodeo, which runs about two hours, said Ms. Campbell, adding that she is thankful for the longtime support from community and sponsors.
She answered questions about the scheduled event for the Independent below.
Is this the first year the event will be held at Scottsdale’s WestWorld site?
• Yes, we are very excited about the new venue.
How many people normally attend the Arizona Black Rodeo?
• We’ve had close to 10,000 people attend in the past.
Was the event canceled last year due to the height of the pandemic and what lengths were needed to have it this year?
• Yes, we had to cancel two times. A detailed safe event plan was submitted. All attendees must wear masks.
Are there any local participants and if so, who are they?
• We won’t know until after entries book have closed for contestant call-in.
What is the importance of the Arizona Black Rodeo?
• This annual event has helped to increase the celebrated heritage, culture, and appreciation of the role African Americans played in shaping the history of the West.
What is the main reaction from the audience in the past?
• It’s a must attend event!
How well is this event supported amongst the Black community in Arizona?
• We experience full support and it grows each year.
What is the history behind the Arizona Black Rodeo and how long has it been in existence?
• The Arizona Black Rodeo is a fun and exciting event designed for the entire family. The event is hosted by the Arizona Informant Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Arizona Black Rodeo is the largest African American community event in the state thanks to the support of the individuals, volunteers, vendors, rodeo participants, and local businesses.
What are the myths/misperceptions, etc.?
• Blacks people don’t ride horses.
What is the age range of participants, from oldest to youngest?
• This is an all-ages event 0 to 100 are welcome to attend.
What are some of the activities?
• Rodeo events include Tie Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Ladies Barrel Racing, Ladies Steer Undercorating, Pony Express Relay Races, and Bull Riding
Will there be refreshments on site?
• Yes, we['re] expecting to have from local food trucks.
Since the event was not held last year due to the global pandemic, all 2020 ticket holders will be honored for the upcoming date. Parking fee is $5 cash only per vehicle.
Rodeo ticket prices range from $20-$40, encompassing two pricing tiers for rodeo fans. With COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, call 602-688-9906 or email email@example.com.
See: azblackrodeo.com; blackrodeousa.com.