KAYENTA, AZ – The Kayenta Fourth of July All Indian Rodeo and Festivities will be held July 01 to July 04, 2009 and is headed to become the premier All-Indian Rodeo in Indian Country.
The rodeo’s website touts: “Kayenta has a long storied past of producing the best All Indian cowboys and cowgirls in all of Indian rodeo. It is with that same story we bring you the best All-Indian Rodeo in North America.”
The Kayenta 4th of July Rodeo has grown over the years, and has set its sights on having the most contestants this year. “Since Window Rock will not be hosting an All-Indian Rodeo this year, we are expecting a record number of rodeo contestants,” says the rodeo coordinator.
The Kayenta 4th of July Rodeo has been recognized 6 times as the Rodeo of the Year and twice as the Outstanding Rodeo by the All-Indian Rodeo Association, making it one of the premier rodeos to attend here in the Southwest. “The awards, the saddles, horse trailer, and the added money we’re putting up this year for the contestants is making this year’s event exciting and we are really looking forward to it,” says JJ Young.
In addition, a Jumbotron TV screen will be set for instant replays along with a professional rodeo announcer who will serve as the Master of Ceremony. The rodeo has gone all out to accommodate a capacity crowd this year with a Free-Pancake breakfast open to the public on July 1 and July 3, it will be held at the Rodeo Grounds beginning at 8:00 am. Then on July 4th, the Free-Pancake Breakfast will be held at the Bashas’ Shopping Center parking lot beginning at 8:00 am.
For the Rodeo events, Saturday night will showcase the Best of the Best. Each event in saddle bronc, bull riding, steer wrestling, etc., will show case top stock for competition. The Kayenta 4th of July has secured top stock from the Willie Cattle Company of Twin Lakes, NM and from the Tsosie Brothers of Table Mesa, AZ.
Although, still in the planning stages, the Fourth of July attendees can see the first Kayenta 4th of July parade down main-street on Highway 163. The annual Kayenta Rodeo is known for its 4th of July Fireworks display, which will be held this year on Saturday night.
“I’m not a big rodeo person, but each year, I go to the 4th of July festivities mainly to see the fireworks and to watch films at the Monument Valley Film Festival, which I really enjoy,” says Carol Todecheene, Kayenta Township Commissioner and local resident.
She explained that in the years past, she went to Page, AZ, or to Farmington, NM for the 4th of July weekend. But, one year the Bus Divers for KUSD #27 (the department she supervises) were being recognized at the 4th of July Pow-Wow, she decided to attend. She was surprised, and has since stayed to enjoy the festivities.
“I can’t believe how many talented people we have in this community. I really enjoy the film festival, I watch the fireworks, and the fact that the rodeo organizers recognize people from the community for their work is really neat,” Mrs. Todecheene says. This year she has invited friends and relatives from as far away as Kansas and Las Vegas, to come and see the festivities.
The Kayenta 4th of July Rodeo will also host a VIP hospitality suite to receive dignitaries, leaders, and notable visitors. Extra bleachers will be rented this year to accommodate a growing audience and crowd.
This year on July 4th for the Saturday night evening show beginning at 7:30 pm, the Best of the Best show, contestants and attendees are asked to participate in a program called Tough Enough To Wear Pink. The Kayenta Rodeo organizers are asking and encouraging all rodeo contestants and attendees to wear pink in support of, and to raise awareness for breast cancer.
For more information about the Kayenta 4th of July Rodeo, visit the website for updates at www.kayentarodeo.com.