The Tucson Rodeo began in 1925 “to give visitors a taste of cowboy range work skills and glamorize Tucson’s Wild West notoriety” (Kevin Boerup, Feb 2022, Oro Valley Style Magazine). At the time, Prohibition (1920-1933) meant that the city needed to be cleaned up of its covert stills before the tourists arrived. Apparently there were about 25 of them, and at least 3K gallons of illegal moonshine!
Prize money included a 750 lb block of ice, 100 lbs of potatoes, and a cactus ham (have no idea what that would look or taste like). Today, our beloved rodeo – for which schools are dismissed on Thursday and Friday every year – is among the top 25 in North America, with prize money over $320K!