BY JOSH CHESLER | MARCH 19, 2014
Fiesta Days™ Pro Rodeo is top notch family entertainment!
PRCA record holder Ryan Gray returns
The Cave Creek Fiesta Days™ Pro Rodeo is back during the last week of March for 2014. Fiesta Days, which is one of Cave Creek's premier celebrations of its western heritage and culture, is centered around the country's first major outdoor rodeo of the year, but it also includes events such as a golf tournament and musical performances.
Ryan Gray (l), one of last year's winners at the Fiesta Days Rodeo, returns to Cave Creek this year to defend his title in the bareback riding portion of the rodeo. Gray, a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association record holder and 11-time national finals competitor, shares a special bond with Cave Creek, as his wife is from the area and still has many friends and family members in the area.
Gray said the atmosphere and crowd at Fiesta Days are two things that really stick out about the event. "The community is so supportive of the rodeo. It's really a western town, and they get really good crowds," said Gray. "Last year, they couldn't get everyone in to the arena because the crowd was so big, but it's really a great job of production on the rodeo."
Gray believes that aside from the town's western atmosphere, the weather is one of the main reasons so many top-notch competitors and fans alike come out for Fiesta Days. "It's definitely the rodeo to show up to. The weather is nice and people really want to be outside," said Gray. "We love coming over there, it's cold and raining in most places, so a lot of the winter rodeos are inside. This is one of the first outside rodeos of the year and that's cool."
Obviously, a western town like Cave Creek has a much larger rodeo fan base than other small towns might, but Gray believes Fiesta Days would be a great rodeo for anyone to see, whether they're avid fans or have never been to a rodeo event before. "You get to see some of the top guys compete there, and you don't get to see that every day. I'm there to compete at the highest level, and I know the other guys are too. It makes for a great rodeo," said Gray.
"Cave Creek is a really pretty area," said Gray, "I usually have to leave the next day after I compete, but this time we're staying for a few days to see our friends and family. I'll really get to enjoy the town and everything, which is something I don't get to do much. There are a lot of cool things to see and do there."
Fiesta Days begins March 26 with the Dan Lebsock Golf Tournament and Fundraiser with the three-day Pro Rodeo kicking off on March 28.
The Desert Hills Community Association (DHCA) is an all volunteer 501(c)3 Arizona nonprofit corporation, better known as the Cave Creek Pro Rodeo Committee. If you wish to support the DHCA, please mail donations to P.O. Box 647, Cave Creek, AZ 85327. Checks should be made payable to Desert Hills Community Association.
Photo by Greg Westfall, 2013 PRCA Photographer of the Year