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Dust Off Your Boots and Make for the Valley of the Sun

Situated only 25 miles Southeast of Downtown Phoenix, Queen Creek is a destination that offers panoramic natural vistas, outdoor activities, and a unique brand of cowboy culture. The San Tan Mountain Regional Park borders the south end of the city and features 10,000 acres of Sonoran Desert wilderness. Foodies will feel right at home in this cowboy oasis when they visit favorite local restaurants like Homer’s Smokehouse BBQ, San Tan Flat, and Queen Creek Olive Mill Eatery. 


Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek has provided family-friendly and action-packed rodeos for thousands of people since 2011. It will take place March 15-18 at the Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre, which is an easy drive from almost anywhere in the Valley of the Sun. This year’s edition promises to be bigger and better than ever complete with a PRCA Pro-Rodeo, carnival, and a ton of activities for all ages. The rodeo is the signature activity of the event, and it includes six PRCA-sanctioned competitions including bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, team roping, and bull riding. Families will encounter a variety of fun things to do ranging from rides and games at the Carnival to clothing goats at the Ranch Dressing activity. Any attendee interested in farming and agriculture needs to participate in one of the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Ag Education and AGtivities classes. Here patrons can learn hands-on about the importance of agriculture in Arizona. Regional music acts such as CrossRoad and The Harry Luge Band will play live on Friday and Saturday nights, and attendees are encouraged to dance until the music stops. The Banner Ironwood Medical Center presents the event and proceeds go to maintaining and improving the host facility. interviewed Event Representative, Erica Saylor, to learn more about this all-ages celebration.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

ES: The concept of a week-long celebration of Queen Creek’s rural heritage has been a goal of Town residents, ever since the old community get-togethers ceased in the 50’s. Back then everyone came together with food and games to enjoy this close-knit community.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

ES: The inaugural Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek event in 2011 was a huge success with more than 8,000 people in attendance. Since then, Roots N’ Boots has grown in size and scope, bringing a PRCA Pro-Rodeo, carnival, a variety of demonstrations and vendors, as well as many down-on-the-farm activities for youth - and the young at heart! In 2017, nearly 16,000 people came out over the four days.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

ES: Roots N’ Boots has something for everyone. Ranked among the Best of The West by American Cowboy Magazine, Roots N’ Boots’ signature event is the PRCA Pro-Rodeo, which showcases some of the country’s finest cowboys, cowgirls, livestock, and entertainment in three performances.


On Saturday morning, there’s fun and prizes for the whole family with Kids n’ Kritters, Mutton Bustin’, Teen Xtreme Rodeo, and Ranch Dressing. The events are free to enter. In addition to the carnival and live entertainment, there’s great food, a saloon, and a fine selection of merchandise vendors. Special events include a horsemanship clinic, draft horse expo, and a cornhole tournament. Friday and Saturday nights until midnight, dance to the music of two of Arizona’s top bands - CrossRoad and The Harry Luge Band. Sunday morning, Cowboy Church takes place in the covered arena before the mounted shooting exhibition which kicks off the day.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

ES: Once you arrive at the park, you're sure to notice the San Tan Mountains that create a beautiful Arizona backdrop to Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre. Then, if you haven't yet purchased your PRCA Pro-Rodeo tickets or tickets for the Rodeo 101 Tour, you'll want to stop by the Rodeo Ticket Office first thing because we expect sell-out crowds. Be sure to check the program/schedule you received from the parking attendant so you won't miss any of the day's special activities. The petting zoo, pony rides, and the new AGtivities booth provide great fun for the young ones in your group. Wander through the variety of quality merchandise vendors, while taking note of the tantalizing aromas wafting from the food truck kitchens. Then feel free to enjoy the carnival and midway or head over to any of the outdoor arenas to check out the exciting events taking place during the day. If it's sunny, a good place to catch some shade is near the concession area, as well as under the Entertainment Tent while you enjoy performances from local dance troupes and others. Watch for Rodeo Royalty queens and princesses from around our state as they are more than happy to visit and share their love of rodeo. Gates to the covered arena open two hours before the rodeo performance, so you'll want to make your way over in plenty time to get a great seat. As the sun sets on your perfect day, be sure to purchase a souvenir Roots N' Boots t-shirt. Wear it to the dance and get in free for some down-home boot scootin' to a mixture of high energy, classic, newer, and original music performed by CrossRoad and The Harry Luge Band.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

ES: One particularly unique event offered at Roots N’ Boots is the Rodeo 101 Tour, which is offered once each day, 60 minutes before the start of the PRCA Pro-Rodeo. The behind-the-scenes tour is limited to 16 people so participants can get an up-close look at the in’s and out’s of rodeo, and have their questions answered about the various events, the equipment, the livestock, and life on the rodeo circuit. Tickets are available only at the Rodeo Ticket Office for $5.


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere?

ES: Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre is a first-class event center that hosts numerous equestrian events throughout the year. The facility is wheelchair accessible with designated parking, hard-packed pathways, and ramps where necessary. The covered arena permits events to take place rain or shine! Three additional outdoor arenas allow for multiple activities to run simultaneously.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

ES: Accommodations within 10 miles of Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre include hotels by Courtyard, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hyatt Place, and Sheraton. Vacation rentals are also available in the surrounding area.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

ES: The Banner Ironwood Medical Center presents the event, and it's a Town of Queen Creek Signature event. Friends of Horseshoe Park, a 501(c)3 volunteer organization, makes it all happen with proceeds going to maintenance and improvements at Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre.

For more information about Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek, please visit the event website.