Written by: Lara Serbin
Buckeye Main Street Coalition
Winter visitors flocked to Historic Downtown Buckeye last weekend to enjoy Buckeye Days on the 28th and 29th of January. Buckeye Days is a community celebration organized by Buckeye Main Street Coalition and other local clubs like Buckeye Lions Club, Rotary Club of Buckeye, Buckeye Valley Historic Society, Friends of the Library, Buckeye Elks Lodge and the City of Buckeye. It’s not just any hometown parade, it is a Turn-of-the-Century Cattle Drive in Buckeye which means you will see horses with riders, 50 head of cattle or horse powered engines like Stotz Equipment who send a calvary of John Deere tractors. Farming families typically ride in the gleaming green giants. Rotary Club of Buckeye, one of the 25 floats handed out candy to crowds socializing on the sidelines of Monroe Avenue from 9th to 2nd Streets.
There was a great turn out at Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show Hollywood style shoot outs, Apache Healing Dancing and trick roping. Don Collier, a well-known Hollywood movie actor, was Parade Grand Marshal and there to sign autographs along with western vendors selling things like old time soda sold from a chuck wagon. Dr. Buck and cast members brought an authentic western vibe to the festivities. Dr. Buck is passionate about the old West Authenticity. He is also a movie actor and regularly watches old westerns to critique on correctness of saddle detail, hairdos and clothing of that specific time period.
While the Wild West Show added sparkle to Monroe Avenue, the Helzapoppin’ Arena saw record breaking crowds for the Honeycutt Senior Pro Rodeo. The events ranged from Muttin’ Bustin’, Ladies Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding, Calf and Ribbon Roping, and Bull Riding. It is impressive that Buckeye Days was sponsored by over 50 local businesses in the form of arena signage, float entries, gifts donated for 200 goodie bags for rodeo contestants and auction items. The Saturday Steak Fry dinner sold 275 steaks and the auction that followed, raised over $5,000.00 for Rotary Club of Buckeye and Lions Club local high school scholarships.