Updated: Apr 12, 2021
If small towns are known for anything, it’s resilience! COVID-19 may have changed a lot about the way we do life, but Payson determined to not let a 136-year tradition die. The town boasts the World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo. The entire community came together to help make sure the event could still go on, with the town of Payson even opting to waive the standard facility fee. Ticket numbers were limited from previous years to ensure spectator and participant safety. Want to read more rodeo history? Click here!
The very first Payson rodeo happened on the third weekend in August 1884, and has continued every year without interruption since then. Rodeo weekend is always a vibrant time in town, and the festivities run for several days. It’s an impressive event. This year, I put on my boots and headed over to the Payson Rodeo Grounds in hopes of learning a bit more about rodeo life. I was fortunate enough to get a behind the scenes look! We met Clifford, who is a rodeo bull-fighter. His job is to protect the riders from the bulls. Talk about a scary job! We got to meet some of the bulls too. They looked nice and tame, but trust me, these animals aren’t something to mess around with!
So, what can you expect to see at the Payson Rodeo? Parade down Main Street, roping, bull riding, mutton busting (for kids!), and so much more. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Sticking to the tradition that began at the very first Payson Rodeo, the event happens the 3rd weekend of August every year. Get your cowboy boots ready and make plans to attend next year!