Tucson Plays – Rodeo, Golf, Baseball
Late February, it’s that time of year when Tucson gets serious about playing. The tradition of La Fiesta de los Vaqueros celebrates its 84th year in 2009 with professional rodeo and the world’s longest non-motorized parade. Schools close for two days and some businesses close to participate in the parade. The rodeo parade even has a museum.
When the event started in 1925 the Arizona Daily Sun headlined, “Cowboys are asked not to shoot up the town.”Prizes at the first rodeo parade included a 750-pound block of ice, 100 pounds of potatoes and a “Big Cactus” ham, whatever that was.
The PGA tour stops in Tucson this week with the Accenture Match Play Championship. Unlike most of the tour tourneys Match Play pits player against player each day eliminating half the field – much like the NCAA Basketball March Madness. Spectators and media from around the world are abuzz this week with Tiger Woods returning to completion after knee surgery last June. Tiger won his match Wednesday but was eliminated on Thursday. After Friday’s play all eyes are on 19-year-old Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland. Accenture excitement continues through the final rounds on Sunday.
Major League Baseball’s spring training games started this week. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies train in Tucson. A schedule of games with other Cactus League teams continue until the end of March.
Tucson weather this week couldn’t have been better – afternoon temperatures in the 80s and clear skies with just enough evening clouds for colorful sunsets. Play on!