WESTERN FUN RIDES IN WITH THE 64th ANNUAL GOLD RUSH DAYS
“OUT WICKENBURG WAY!”
FEBRUARY 16-19, 2012
This event celebrates the town’s origins as a ranching & gold mining center in the days before there was a Phoenix. The heritage event was founded over 60 years ago, and today Gold Rush Days draws tens of thousands of visitors, during the three days of activities. It has been recognized as a special Arizona Centennial Event for the 2nd year.
Festivities begin on Thursday, February 16, with the Family Fun Carnival opening at 4:00 p.m., in the downtown district. Joining us in Wickenburg for special performances is” Nashville Recording Artists, Emerson Drive” who will appear in concert on Thursday and Friday Night at 7:30 p.m., at the Del E. Webb Center for Performing Arts.
The official opening gets underway on Friday, February 17 with the Opening Ceremonies on Frontier Street at 10:00 a.m. with gunfight demonstration with stuntman Joey Dillon, and gold rush officials kicking off the event. Friday is the only day you will be able to see beautiful classic cars on Frontier Street from 9am -3 p.m. The main festival area on Valentine Street in the historic district will see 200 exhibitors at the artisan faire, a family fun carnival, juried art show, free stage entertainment, gold panning, and much more from 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m., with the carnival running throughout the evening. One of the highlights on Friday is the first show of the Desert Stagers old fashioned melodrama, held in the historic Saguaro Theatre at 7:00 p.m., nightly throughout the celebration. And a second performance at The Webb Center at 7:30 p.m. with Emerson Drive.
The parade on Saturday at 10:00 a.m., is one of the largest in Arizona, with over 100 entries including close to 1,000 horses, classic auto’s, floats, marching bands, and youth groups participating. Spectators line the street as one of the largest parades in Arizona passes by.
The parade theme is: “Centennial Gold” On Saturday the main event activities are the same, but include the additions of a Western Barbeque, and the first performance of the Senior Professional Rodeo held at 2:00 p.m. at the Everett Bowman Arena, located off of Constellation Road, just one mile east of the downtown area. Admission is $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 students, children $3, and under 5 Free. Gates open at Noon. Again this year is the addition of the Grand Canyon PRCA Rough Stock to the rodeo. The “Arizona Outlaws” is the band playing on Saturday night inside the Wickenburg Community Center from 9:00 p.m. –Midnight for the Gold Rush Days rodeo dance with great music. Admission is $8 each or $15 couple.
Sunday, the activities include the arts/crafts area, gold panning, family carnival, rodeo performance, melodrama, and special day events such as the Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 am – 11 am inside the Community Center; traditional Mining events – Mucking & Drilling Contest at 10:00 a.m. where contestants compete for money and prizes and spectators can bid in a Calcutta Auction for a contestant; and the Arizona Gold Panning Championship, where contestants compete for money and prizes while panning for gold starts at 1:00 p.m. The second performance of the Senior Pro Rodeo is at 2 p.m.
This annual celebration is one of the Signature Heritage events for Wickenburg, and was named in 2009 as Arizona’s Best Special Rural Event by the Arizona Office of Tourism. This event was selected by the Library of Congress, and named as one of America’s Living Legacies. And in 2011 and for 2012, the Arizona Centennial Commission has recognized Gold Rush Days as a signature event. For more information, and tickets call (928) 684-5479 or visit the event on www.wickenburgchamber.com. Tickets for the Webb Center concert call 928-684-6624
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH
10:00AM-5PM – Visit the Desert Caballeros Western Museum
5:00 P.M. OPENING NIGHT FAMILY CARNIVAL -special wrist band price
7:30 P.M. DEL E. WEBB CENTER Presents: “Emerson Drive” $42Adults
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17th
9:00 A.M. –3 P.M. CLASSIC CAR SHOW – FRONTIER STREET
9:00 A.M. – 5: P.M. WICKENBURG ART CLUB – ARTISIAN FAIRE- Library & Stone Park
ARTS/CRAFTS/FAMILY CARNIVAL & More!
160 N. Valentine Street-Historic District – Wickenburg Community Center
10:00 A.M. OPENING CEREMONIES –Gold Rush Officials
Special Guest, Gunslinger & Performer, Joey Dillon
On historic Frontier Street in front of the Chamber Office – Historic Santa Fe Depot
11:00 A.M. SENIOR PRO RODEO SLACK – Everett Bowman Rodeo Arena- $5 admission
12Noon-5PM GOLD PANNING
7:00 P.M. DESERT STAGERS MELODRAMA- SAGUARO THEATRE
7:30 P.M. “Emerson Drive” @ The Webb Center – 2nd Performance
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18th
9:00 A.M. – 5 P.M. WICKENBURG ART CLUB ARTISIAN FAIRE
CHAMBER ARTS/CRAFTS-FAMILY CARNIVAL
9:00 A.M. ARIZONA GUNSLINGERS –GUN FIGHTS ON FRONTIER STREET
10:00 A.M. GOLD RUSH PARADE –Sponsored by Cox Communications
Parade Theme: “CENTENNIAL GOLD!” 4th Largest Parade in AZ
11:00 A.M. WICKENBURG SADDLE CLUB BBQ-Community Center-$8-$4.50 Child
11AM-5 PM GOLD PANNING
2:00 P.M. SENIOR PRO & GCPRA RODEO – EVERETT BOWMAN ARENA
Admission: $10 adults; $8 Seniors (60+) $6 Student (13-18)
Child $3 (5-12) Under 5 – FREE (Gates open at 12 Noon)
7:00 P.M. DESERT STAGERS MELODRAMA – SAGUARO THEATRE
9:00 P.M. GOLD RUSH RODEO DANCE – ARIZONA OUTLAWS
MIDNIGHT $8-$15 couple– No Host Bar –Community Center
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH
10:00 A.M. –5PM WICKENBURG ART CLUB ARTISIAN FAIRE
10:00 A.M. – 5PM. CHAMBER ARTS & CRAFTS, FAMILY CARNIVAL,
FREE STAGE ENTERTAINEMENT, PHOTO DISPLAY & MUCH MORE!
10:00 A.M. MUCKING & DRILLING CONTEST – FESTIVAL AREA
10AM-4PM GOLD PANNING
1:00 P.M. CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD PANNING CONTEST
2:00 P.M. SENIOR PRO & GCPRA RODEO – Everett Bowman Arena
7:00 P.M. DESERT STAGERS MELODRAMA – SAGUARO THEATRE
MELODRAMA, RODEO & WESTERN DANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM THE CHAMBER 1-800-942-5242 – www.wickenburgchamber.com
*Concert Tickets for Emerson Drive sold only from THE Webb Center Box Office.
Sponsored by THE WICKENBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & PARD’NERS!
Sponsored in part by THE ARIZONA LOTTERY