Along the Gila: Pioneer Days is Rapidly Approaching

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Sam Hosler

I have butterflies in my stomach. It’s about Pioneer Days sponsored by the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce Thursday through Sunday, March 15-18. My butterflies are not about the event going well – it has been done so many years that many people fall automatically into helpful roles. It’s about whether or not the event will be for sure a great event. I’m hoping it will, and here’s why.

  The familiar things will be there. The carnival will open at Pioneer Park on Thursday, March 15, at 4 p.m. It will begin the next day, Friday, at the same time. And Saturday and Sunday the opening will be earlier, at 12 noon. One of the most anticipated “old” events is the Pioneer Days Parade on Saturday, the 17th, with lineup at 9 a.m. and parade start at 10 a.m. Claim your viewing spots early! The Pioneer Days Queen contestants will be at the Pioneer Park stage on Thursday the 15th from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Queen and all royalty will be in the parade on Saturday.

  Associated events will take place, too. A sanctioned horseshoe tournament will be at the Elks Lodge on Saturday the 17th with registration at 11 a.m. and full action at noon. The eagerly anticipated softball tournament will be at the ball field. Twelve teams have signed up, many from other towns and cities. On Saturday, March 17, a benefit steak cookout will take place at the General Kearny Inn. Certified Angus beef cooked to your specification (and with all the trimmings) is yours for only $25 per person, with proceeds going to scholarships, books, and bookshelves for area students. Have fun and benefit others at the same time. The dinner is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and all steaks are roasted on a mesquite fire.

  That’s the “usual” stuff, but here’s the new. Genaro Moreno will be performing at the Pioneer Park stage at 6 p..m. on Thursday, March 15. Mariachi Caporal will take the stage on Saturday with a show from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. And these are free events!

  On Saturday night, the All Class Reunion Street Dance will feature two different sets of music on Alden Road. There is an admission price for both events, but purchasing both will give you a price reduction. Butcher Jones Country Western Band (with Ray High School alumnus Pete Avelar holds the stage for four hours beginning at 5 p.m, D.J. Flair will step in before the next act, which is Conjunto Ambicion, a fine Tejano group, beginning at 9 a.m. and going clear until 2 a.m. (yes, into the next day). The street will be fenced to hold all the dancers.

  Then, on Saturday, March 17, immediately after the parade, Desert Train Transportation will be going up and down Tilbury Road from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.v A $5 wristband will give you unlimited rides.

  And, all along, the vendors will be available through all hours of the parade. This is one heck of an event. With the greater amount of publicity, I hope it will being many people in to enjoy our part of the world.

  A final note: Last week, when I was writing about the Hand Me Up Shop, I referred to the Copper Basin Health Volunteers. Their real name is the Copper Area Health Volunteers. These fine people deserve their proper name to be known.

Sam Hosler (63 Posts)


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