67th ANNUAL GOLD RUSH DAYS & RODEO
February 13-15, 2015
WESTERN FUN RIDES IN WITH THE 67th ANNUAL GOLD RUSH DAYS
FEBRUARY 13-15, 2015 - “OUT WICKENBURG WAY!”
This event celebrates the town’s origins as a ranching & gold mining center in the days before there was a Phoenix. The heritage event was founded 67 years ago, and today Gold Rush Days draws tens of thousands of visitors, during the 3 ½ days of activities.
Festivities begin on Thursday, February 12, with the Brown’s Amusements Family Fun Carnival opening at 4:00 p.m., in the downtown district.
The official opening gets underway on Friday, February 13 during the Opening Ceremonies on Frontier Street at 10:00 a.m. with a gunslinger-stuntman Joey Dillon, and gold rush officials kicking off the event. Friday is the only day you will be able to see beautiful classic cars on Frontier Street from 9am -3 p.m.
The main festival area on Valentine Street in the historic district will see 150 exhibitors at the Wickenburg Art Club artisan fair, & juried art show, family fun carnival, free stage entertainment, gold panning, 150 arts/crafts, and much more from 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m., with the carnival running throughout the evening. One of the highlights on Friday is the first show of the Desert Stagers old fashioned melodrama, held in the historic Saguaro Theatre at 7:00 p.m., nightly throughout the celebration.
The parade is on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., and one of the largest in Arizona with over 100 entries including 1,000 horses within the entry classes, classic auto’s, floats, marching bands, and youth groups will also be participating. Spectators line the street as one of the largest parades in Arizona passes by. The parade theme is to be announced.
On Saturday the main event activities are the same, but include the additions of a Western Barbeque sponsored by the Wickenburg Saddle Club at 11:00 a.m., and the first performance of the National Senior Professional Rodeo & Open Rough Stock, held at 2:00 p.m. at the Everett Bowman Arena, located at 935 Constellation Road, just one mile east of the downtown area. Admission: $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 students (13-17), children (5-12) $3 & under 5 are Free. Gates open at Noon. The National Senior Pro Rodeo Association selected the 2013 Gold Rush Days Rodeo as their “Rodeo of the Year” and recognition will take place in the arena on Saturday.
On Saturday night you’ll find another Old Fashioned Melodrama performance from the Wickenburg Desert Stagers, held in the historic Saguaro Theatre at 7:00 p.m.
On Sunday the activities include arts/crafts area, gold panning, family carnival, rodeo performance, melodrama, and special day events such as the Lioness Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 am – 11 am inside the Community Center; traditional Mining events – Mucking & Drilling Contest at 10:00 a.m. where contestants compete for money and prizes and spectators can bid in a Calcutta Auction for a contestant; and the Arizona Gold Panning Championship, where contestants compete for money and prizes while panning for gold starts at 1:00 p.m.
The second performance of the Senior Pro Rodeo is at 2 p.m., and at 7:00 p.m. is the final performance of the Melodrama.
This annual western celebration is the Signature Heritage event for Wickenburg, and was named in 2012 as one of the Top Rural Events in Arizona by the Arizona Festival & Event Association, and in 2013 garnished two first place media awards for best television commercial and commemorative poster.
Other accolades over the years include 2011 & 2012 Arizona Centennial event; 2009 Arizona’s Best Special Rural Event by the Arizona Office of Tourism.
Gold Rush Days most significant recognition is from the Library of Congress, whereas Gold Rush Days is one of America’s Living Legacies.
The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce is the proud producer of the celebration each year, along with partners and sponsors. For more information, and tickets call (928) 684-5479