Rex Allen Days circa 1951 to Today
Rex Allen Days has been around since 1951. The original event was planned as a benefit for the local hospital. Since then countless other charitable organizations have benefited from the proceeds of the weekend. The proceeds are also used to present scholarships to Willcox High School graduates.
The first Rex Allen Days featured a rodeo, parade and an appearance by Rex. That format remains, but has been expanded to four days of fun - "Western Fun ~ Willcox Style". However Rex Allen Days is a whole lot more. The professional rodeo begins on Saturday and continues on Sunday. The rodeo features the classic western events that keep people coming back year after year. Bull Riding, Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, Ropers and Barrel Racing. Ever present are the beloved rodeo clowns that keep us in stitches and the riders hopefully out of them!
The Willcox rodeo has some additional events however that are not found elsewhere. A "kids Rodeo" for the small fry 4 thru 12, and this is a classic event that all will enjoy! It's held as a "pre-Rodeo" event and includes Stick Horse Barrel Racing, Dummy Roping, Mutton Bustin' and Steer Riding. These events are real crowd pleasers and it's a true joy watching the "small fry" having their very own rodeo!
The weekend starts out with the Annual Cowboy Hall of Fame Banquet on Thursday night. Local "cowboys" are inducted into the truly unique group of people who helped contribute to Willcox's history. Friday has a variety of events to choose' including the Rodeo Queen Competition, appearances by Rex Allen Jr., and other entertainers at the elementary school and the NCCH Nursing Home. Afternoon/Evening brings events like gunfights, Antique tractor pulls, Cowboy Poetry entertainers, Rex Jr. Celebrity Panel Q & A, old Rex Allen movie showings and a special Wine & Cheese Benefit for the Rex Allen Museum.
Saturday starts with a large parade that goes through Historic Downtown Willcox, featuring numerous mounted entries, horses, floats, teh Willcox High School marching band, to name a few. For 2014, the 62nd army band and the B-troop buffalo soldiers from Fort Huachuca will be entertaing the crowds! Celebrities and dignitaries in town will be riding in the parade. And join us for the special concert in the late afternoon/evening at the Willcox High School Auditorium. This tradition is from the early Rex Allen Days and has always been a great show, delighting audiences of all ages.
But wait....there is even more....
How about two softball tournaments? Or head off to Keiller Park for loads of fun with a country fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not only delicious food is to be had but there is shopping, local crafts, the carnival and entertainment throughout the weekend. And the annual Orland B. Willcox Turtle Race is held on Saturday, it's not to be missed nor is the Car Show event that benefits Youth Soccer in Southern Arizona.
If you love having a good time and are willing to "let your hair down" and have some real fun, then Willcox is the place to be! We extend to you an official invitation to visit Willcox and enjoy the sights, sounds and fun to be found in the old west of yesteryear with all the modern conveniences of today!
And if you're sitting quietly in the park by Rex Allen's statue listen closely and you might just hear the quiet singing of Rex and the soft whinnying of KoKo as they watch from the past.