CASA GRANDE — With its marching bands, horses, Native American royalty and various motorized and non-motorized entries, the annual Cowboy Days & O’Odham Tash parade is one of the most popular events of the year.

This year’s parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

The event, which attracts thousands of spectators every year, is the official kickoff to the 10-day celebration of the cowboy and Native American heritage and culture.

Entries tend to include various tribes and Native American royalty as well as school marching bands, horse-drawn entries, mounted groups, floats and vintage vehicles.

“We are expecting about 50 parade participants including Native American royalty, dancers, bands and more,” said Mindy Pieper, city recreation coordinator and one of the organizers of the parade.

Two grand marshals are chosen to lead the parade each year — one who represents the cowboy culture and another who represents one of the four area Native American nations.

This year, Toy Cordova of Florence was selected to represent the Cowboy Days side of the event while Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman Robert Miguel is the O’Odham Tash representative.

The parade begins at Brown Avenue and will travel west along Florence Boulevard to Florence Street, where it will turn and continue to its ending position on Second Street downtown.

“In an effort to provide a safe atmosphere and improved access for the event, temporary street closures will be in effect,” Pieper said.

The following street closures are scheduled on the day of the parade:

  • a portion of Brown Avenue, between Florence Boulevard and Jimmie Kerr Boulevard, from about 7 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Florence Boulevard, on the west side of Trekell Road to Walnut Avenue, from about 8:30 until 11:30 a.m.
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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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