Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Parade entrants join others to take part in the 2019 parade. The Gila Valley Pioneer Days will return Friday and Saturday, July 22 – 23.
Schedule of events and registration
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – Come one, come all to the triumphant return of the Gila Valley Pioneer Days two-day celebration, Friday and Saturday, July 22 – 23.
For the first true time since being shut down for the pandemic, a full slate of Pioneer Days activities await the Gila Valley next week.
The event kicks off with a pickleball tournament in Thatcher which runs mixed doubles from 6 – 9 a.m. on Friday, July 22, and men’s and women’s doubles on Saturday, July 23. The cost is $20 per team. Click here to register for the mixed doubles, click here for men’s doubles, and click here for women’s doubles.
The variety show will also return and will be $3 per ticket. The show will start at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22 at the Safford Center For the Arts. Click here to purchase tickets.
The Pioneer Days Rodeo will have event signups from 6 – 6:45 p.m. on Friday, July 22, with a 7 p.m. sharp start time.
Scheduled events include a boot race, stick horse race (bring your own stick), cowhide race, greased pig/chicken chase, cowboy musical chairs, ribbon roping, and Mormon team roping. Check out the video to see a preview of some of the events.
Friday’s festivities conclude with a family dance from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m at the Thatcher Elementary School playground at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Second Street.
Saturday’s events start off with a 5K run starting at the Thatcher High School at 6 a.m. The cost is $15 per person. Click here to register. There will also be a one-mile fun run in conjunction with the 5K.
The co-ed volleyball tournament is scheduled for 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at various school gyms. There are three levels of competition, and the cost is $50 per team. Register for the volleyball tournament here.
The 3-on-3 basketball tournament is scheduled for 1 – 5 p.m. at various school gyms and has four divisions with costs ranging from $20 to $40 per team depending on the division. Click here to register. Hurry, the registration deadline is July 19 at 5 p.m.
The annual parade with this year’s theme “Let Us All Press On” will gather at the Thatcher High School parking lot at 5 p.m. The parade is scheduled to start at 5:30 and make its way down Church Street from Third Avenue. The parade will then travel down Stadium Avenue and finish at the Thatcher ballfields.
Following the parade, a barbecue dinner for $6 and other food will be available at John Mickelson Stadium at EAC as well as games for children. At dusk, a fireworks show will culminate the weekend’s events. For more information visit the Pioneer Days website here.