Under the theme “Honoring all Pioneers,” plenty of activity is planned for this year’s Gila Valley Pioneer Day Celebration, Friday and Saturday, July 19-20.
The Variety Show begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the David M. Player Center for the Arts. The show features a wide variety of family-friendly entertainment, including music, dancing, comedy and more. General admission tickets are $3, cash only, at the door. Expect about a 90-minute show.
Pima will host a good old-fashioned family rodeo Friday. Entries will be taken between 6-6:45 p.m. Friday at the rodeo venue, Vard Lines Arena, at the intersection of 1200 South/Cottonwood Wash Road and 800 West, just southwest of the Pima Cemetery. Anyone with a horse can participate in the Grand Entry, and there will be stick horse races, cowhide races, greased pigs, money steers, cowboy musical chairs, and ribbon and team roping. For more information please contact Troy Judd: 520-507-7000.
At 8:30 p.m. Friday will be the Family Dance at the Pima Stake Center parking lot. Dress is casual and dancing will take place until 10:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and water.
On Saturday, activities start with the Pioneer Days 5K and Fun Run at the Thatcher High School parking lot. The Fun Run will start at 6 a.m., with the 5K beginning immediately after. There will be a $12 entry fee to cover the cost of the shirt and registration. To guarantee receiving a shirt one must register by 6 p.m. on July 10. Awards and prizes will be given out to the top finishers. For any questions call Rhett Dodge at 928-965-1143, and to register go to www.gilavalleypioneerdays.com.
The Co-Ed Volleyball Tournament will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in local school gymnasiums. Registration is due by 5 p.m. on July 16 and cost is $50 per team. The games are six-on-six, there must be two men and two women on the court at all times, and teams can have up to eight players on the roster. There will be “A” and “B” divisions. Team captains will be responsible to disseminate game times and places. Games will be timed and rally scored. To register go to www.gilavalleypioneerdays.com.
Saturday afternoon will feature the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The tournament will run from 1-5 p.m. at local school gymnasiums. Registration is due by 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, with 12 & under costing $20 per team, 16 & under $25 per team and open $30 per team. There can be up to five players on a team. Team captains will be responsible to disseminate game times and places. All games will be timed and scoring will be: 2 points for a 3-pointer, 1 point for every other shot unless the court doesn’t have a 3-point line, then every shot will be 2 points. For more information and to register, go to www.gilavalleypioneerdays.com.
Saturday evening starts off with the traditional parade staging along Third Avenue by the Thatcher High School parking lot. Parade entries will line up facing north between the Seminary building and the Thatcher High School buildings. Floats can enter off First Avenue onto Eagle Drive, which turns onto Third Avenue. The parade will travel west on Church Street, turn to head south on Stadium Avenue and disperse at the Thatcher ballfields.
Pioneer Days culminates at the Eastern Arizona College football field for a barbecue dinner for $5 a plate, $1 for drinks (cash only). Other food vendors will also be available. There will also be games for the whole family before the finale of the evening — a large fireworks show.
For more information and to sign up for the different events visit www.gilavalleypioneerdays.com.