Pioneer Days events this Friday and Saturday

Jon Johnson File Photo: The Pioneer Days festivities will be held this weekend.

Last chance to sign up for basketball and volleyball is Tuesday

Staff Reports

PIMA – The 2023 Gila Valley Pioneer Days “Roll Forth” will be celebrated Friday and Saturday, July 21 and 22, with events throughout the Gila Valley. 

This year’s sporting events include a pickleball tournament for the first time. The co-ed volleyball tournament and 3-on-3 basketball tournament will be held Saturday. The last day to sign up teams is Tuesday, July 18. Click here to visit the Pioneer Days website. 

Schedule of Events

Friday – July 21

The pickleball tournament will open both days and will run from 6 – 9 a.m. 

A variety show will be held at the David M. Player Safford Center for the Arts, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The family rodeo will be held at the Vard Lines Memorial Roping Arena in Pima, starting at 7 p.m.

A family dance from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. is scheduled to end the first evening’s festivities.  

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Scott Alder demonstrates how to perform the cowhide race at a previous Pioneer Day Rodeo.

Saturday  – July 22

After the pickleball gets going, the co-ed volleyball tournament runs from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at various schools depending on the teams’ division. Click here for more information or to register.  

Contributed Photo: Last day to sign up volleyball teams for the Pioneer Day Tournament is Tuesday, July 18.

After an hour for lunch, those involved in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament will run from 1 – 5 p.m. – again at various school gyms throughout the Gila Valley depending on the teams’ division. Click here for more information or to register.  

Contributed Photo: Pioneer Days 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is a big draw.


The 2023 Pioneer Days Parade will be held in Pima on Saturday, July 22, and will start at 5:30 p.m. in the area of 400 South just east of 100 East and directly south of the Dan Hinton Accommodation School. The parade will head west to Main Street and then north to 200 South where it will head west to 200 West. From there the parade will go north to 100 South where it will head back toward the east until it again reaches Main Street. The parade will then head south to 200 South and then east to 200 East before heading back south to conclude at 400 South near the school where the parade started. 

Contributed Photo: Gila Valley Pioneer Days 2023 Parade Route

This year, the parade looks to feature a “Gila Valley Youth Battalion” for all youth ages 15 – 18. Those interested in marching with the youth battalion should meet at the start of the parade at 5:15 p.m. wearing cowboy hats and clothing to show off their culture or everyday attire. Flags stating “Gila Valley Youth Battalion” will be supplied. 

The traditional BBQ dinner as well as many other food vendors will be available after the parade, as well as various games. 

The evening’s festivities will conclude with a fireworks show after dark.   

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Fireworks will end the weekend’s festivities.