4th of July Celebrations in Rodeo, New Mexico's Most Western Town

Another 4th of July in Rodeo and as usual, an event to remember.  With only 3 paved roads in the several hundred square miles of the valley, Highway 80 being the only north/south paved road through the valley, it is only logical that the highway is closed every year in the town of Rodeo for the 4th of July celebrations.  The day started early pulling meat that had been slow cooking the previous night preparing for the community dinner, followed by a morning softball game in the park.  The afternoon brought parade preparations and arriving shortly after 5:00 PM the town was already filling.  Cars were rapidly filling up the open areas along both sides of Highway 80 in town.  At 6:00 PM the parade started with horses carrying the flags followed by the parade's grand marshal.  This was followed by floats of every description created by local inhabitants.  Rodeo Radio AM1590 (on the air once a year on the 4th) carried the parade description while floats made their way slowly along the highway.  The theme for this years parade was “anything goes” and was reflected in the variety of floats from a veterans float to unicorns, see images below.  Following the parade everyone gathered inside the Rodeo community center for dinner.  Slow cooked pulled beef with a savory barbeque sauce with beans and coleslaw was the fare, with additional meat being sold to raise funds for the community.  The traditional cake auction followed and then the evenings dance.  Local residents also took advantage of the break in the dry conditions for a fireworks display in the park.  Being the 4th, the traditional start of the monsoon season, I headed back to the Painted Pony Resort early in anticipation of rain.  The drive home was accompanied by a spectacular lightening displays from storms drifting down from the north and upon arrival it started to rain.   PPR picked up 0.96” throughout the night and the desert was alive with activity the next morning.  All the frogs were out calling for mates to take advantage of the ephemeral pools that form during the monsoon creating the next generation of frogs.  Overall it another great event created by the hardworking residents of the bootheel and southeastern Arizona.

4th of july
The parade begins

flag of Rodeo
Rodeo's flag bearer

rodeo new mexico's most western town
Antelope in the parade

Rodeo, New Mexico's most western town
Butterfield stage line

rodeo nm parade
Princess on a unicorn in Rodeo

small town celebrations
Community center dinner


  1. The San Simon valley sure had a great day this year for all the celebrating that went on!

  2. I'm always amazed at the number of people who show up for the parade, there are always new faces. You think you know most folks around here but there are always new surprises.