The sun snuck out in time to warm up cheering fans at Buckeye Days Bulls & Sheep event last Saturday January 21st. Cowboy gladiators smiled and high fived as the Honeycutt Rodeo Family assembled the fringed bull riders inside the Helzapoppin’ Arena located in Historic Downtown Buckeye, Arizona.
Buckeye Days Bulls & Sheep
Among the 23 riders were Jason Bigman from Campe Verde, Dawson Stutting from Buckeye, Nate Zamora, Carlos Ravago from Benson going on to Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Finals, Bucky Rump from Queen Creek, returning champion from Buckeye Days 2014 Nate Zamora, Eric and Brandon Cordova, Cody McCarroll Buckeye resident, Navajo Nation Brent Yellowhair, Bradford Spencer sporting pink chaps, Cameron Minter from Anchorage, Alaska, Jesse Flores riding a bull called “Lucky Charm”, Efren Gallego with his bull “Gale Force”, and Jose Mora wore cream chaps with turquoise accents. Mora was fired up as he shuffled through the chunky dirt to adjust everyone’s attitude with a smile.
Brent Yellowhair, Bullrider
Strapped to a slobbery wild beast named “Turd Hurdler” or “Snake Snot” and ejected from a chute most riders looked like death, others made it look easy like Jorge Quinonez from Bloomington, California. Quinonez seemed relaxed arm straight up and the other holding on for life. Bull and rider working as one. In the end, only 4 riders made 8 second cuts. Clint Holcomb came out on top with a 81 score. Holcomb went toe to toe with a 1750 pound bounty bull named “Smokin’ Hot” but didn’t last 8 seconds, so rodeo fan Melina Maple won $500 dollars from Buckeye Main Street Coalition.
Muttin’ Buster Isaac Escobedo
Mia Paco Littleton-Williams, Miss Rodeo Arizona Sweetheart 2017 ushered in the 7 and under club of Muttin’ Busters. Isaac Escobedo, 6 years old decked out in hat and chaps, captivated fans as he single handedly held on to the wool for 95 points. Jerry Honeycutt, owner of Honeycutt Rodeo remarked that if Escobedo returns as a bull rider in the future he will cover his entry fees!
As deep stretched shadows crept into the night and the last ferocious bull returned to the chute, Dan Fowley the announcer of the Buckeye Days Senior Pro Rodeo belted out in his animated throaty style that it’s time for steak dinner and auction! Stands were packed to the brim last Saturday January 30th at the Helzapoppin’ Arena on Miller Road in Downtown Historic Buckeye, Arizona which meant tons of hungry rodeo fans lining up for steak dinner at about 5 o’clock. Marlyn Gregerson a retired Arizona Machinery employee, Sam Rose and Jay Sylvester of Buckeye Valley Fire District cooked thick cut steaks supplied by Butcher and Farmer Market over open fire. This year like previous years the dinner and auction took place in the northwest corner edge of the Helzapoppin’ Arena, tables were arranged on a new concrete slab provided by the City of Buckeye. Displayed alongside the open air dining were about 130 auction items that rodeo fans could sum up while waiting for steaks to be grilled.
Auction Items at the Steak Dinner
Steak Dinner at Sunset Buckeye Days 2016
The Buckeye Days Auction is a fundraiser that benefits the Buckeye Rotary and Lions Clubs. Every dollar goes back to the community towards Buckeye Union High School District college scholarships. Items get donated by local businesses like Micaela Meraz who donated a piñata from the Carniceria Y Taqueria Durango.
Rachel Moses, hand-built bar for Auction
Micaela Meraz with her piñata for the Auction
Items such as artwork, collectibles, your brother’s bowie knife, power tools, tickets to local sporting events, gift baskets, and so much more were all donated. Buckeye Days Auction also showcases local talent like Rachel Moses who built a bar made from reclaimed wood crates, redwood and corrugated metal. If you want to be entertained, come to next year’s Buckeye Days Steak Dinner Auction and feel good about items you purchase to help our kids go to higher education and have fun while you’re doing it! By: Lara Serbin, Buckeye Main Street Coalition Like us on Facebook: Buckeye Main Street Coalition Follow us on Instagram: BUCKEYE_MAINSTREET
Your Wild West Show is coming to Buckeye Days Celebration in January 24th and 25th. Dr. Buck Productions is a sensation here in the West Valley, Arizona. It has yielded ongoing Wild West Festivals, Shoot Out Competitions in Old Tucson and Murder Mysteries to name a few. Did you ever expect it to be this popular? Actually, Yes! Being that Arizona is one, if not the first location that we think of when we envision the Wild West or where Western Movies are filmed, so the folks who live and visit here from all around the world, expect this part of America’s Western Heritage to be offered up, and that’s exactly what my award winning cast of Wild West performers do!
To what do you attribute the success of the Wild West Shows? Definitely the caliber of my performers you’ll see at my shows… several are World Champions in the Wild West Arts, such as Trick Roping, Six Gun Spinning, Bull-Whip Cracking and Trick Horse Riding! Plus the fact that it is good old family fun entertainment, the likes of which, some have never seen!
Buckeye Days Wild West Show
Typically, when you are doing a Wild West Show like the one coming to Buckeye, how do you prepare the performers for the event? Each event venue is always a bit different, so we create performances to meet the location. Plus, we always like to offer up a little something new from what they may have seen previously… but always with plenty of audience participation!
How do you structure your Wild West Festival for maximum suspense? Our audiences are always telling us, “We didn’t expect that!”, because honestly, we very often change up a Stunt Show or other performance at the last minute, to get that audience reaction. Plus, with our audience participation, guests never know if they will be in the show, and not just watching it!
Unleash the suspense!
How did you become involved in doing stunts and trick roping? Stunt work began at Disney Studios when I was a “Starving Animator” in need of extra $… and here, almost 40 years later, having worked with Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Willie Nelson, Ben Johnson and several others, I’m still taking punches, kicks and falls! Things like Gun Spinning & Trick Roping, I prefer to leave that to the folks like Johnny Hotshot… and they leave the stunts to me!
Buckeye Days Wild West Show
Which western movies inspire you the most? Who is your favorite Hollywood western character? Actually some of the lesser known ones like, “Once Upon A Time In The West”, “The Sacketts”, “Barbarosa” and the “Long Riders” (ok, and not because I was in the last three) Favorite Character… any actor that played a believable Outlaw!…which was usually those valuable character actors, not the big name stars!
Once Upon a Time in the West
What is your take on downtown Buckeye being a back drop for the upcoming Wild West Festival and Rodeo? Forget the big covered stadium Rodeos and the Rhinestone Cowboy shows! This is true Wild West & Rodeo Americana, the way it was meant to be displayed and enjoyed! My Wild West cast is proud to be a “New” addition to Buckeye Days 2014…and honored to be a part of an event that Singing Cowboy Gene Autry attended a time or two!