Today: Jul 09 , 2020

Prescott Frontier Days Parade: A Time for Traditions Old & New

03 July 2018   Kristina Abbey

So many memories surrounding the Prescott Frontier Days Parade

Prescott, Arizona kicked off the 131st anniversary of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo™ and part of that celebration includes the annual Rodeo Days Parade. I remember as a little girl my parents brought me and my older brother up to Prescott from Phoenix to visit my grandparents and to see the parade. While walking among the spectators of the parade this year, I realized it was about thirty years ago that I’d come up with my parents to see the parade with my grandparents. I wandered the streets this year, thinking of the last couple years of attending the parade and how different things are now from when I was a child. There is something special in the memories and the moments we collect when we attend special events like the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade. We gather together with our friends and family, we create special moments and traditions of our own when we return year after year to the same event. Sometimes we grow our groups, other times the groups become smaller. 

This year, I had the special privilege of speaking to several spectators of the parade who’d been coming down to see the parade with their own special group of friends. The first group of people I spoke with was a large family group of parents and kids all who come down annually to see the parade and spend lots of time together. The mom of this particular group started coming to the parade about 10 years ago and now brings her family down and each year gathers more family to come with her. In the quiet of the morning just before the start of the parade, I could feel the anticipation of this family group who was ready and eager for the parade adding on to another year of memories.

As I moved along I came across a rather dressed up bunch of folks, mostly older men and women and ones who clearly enjoyed the spirit of the Fourth of July. I, of course, had to talk to them. This group of people have been attending the parade between 4-6 years depending on the individual. One individual commented that their group was a little smaller than normal as part of their traditional group was off traveling and wasn’t able to make it. They have the tradition of getting together to enjoy the parade, part of the group travels up from the Phoenix area to spend time with their friends who live in Prescott. This lively little bunch was happy to chat and relax while waiting for the parade to begin. I found it hard to walk away from this group but found I had to move along. It was almost nine and the parade was almost about to start. 

I spoke with several others as I made my way along the route, there seemed to be a common theme, this was a time for community, a time for friendship and families, a time for belonging, a time for relaxation and fun. One intrepid patron of the parade boasted a staggering 25 years of attending the parade and with her were friends all ranging in attendance from their first year to 11 years. They come every year to see the horses, simply the tradition of seeing the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade, and to see what’s going on downtown. They love coming down to the square and running into people they know. 

Prescott and the surrounding areas are growing, but it certainly seems like it is still a small town. You wander the street and see smiling faces. You might attend an event and see someone you know. This parade is full of people from our town and on the floats are faces of those we care about. We stand along the route and watch for familiar faces and draw our loved ones near. After all these years, how can you not but think of traditions that might have formed among those who come to watch the parade?

Below, is our complete photo gallery of this year’s parade. We're pretty sure it's the largest photo gallery in the quad city area. Were you in the parade? Did you know someone in the parade? Look in the photos below and see who you can find and tell us in the comments below. 

Photos in the photo gallery are by Lynne LaMaster.