The 4th of July in Rodeo, New Mexico's most Western Town

Small town 4th of July celebrations are a mixture of sweat, hard labor, and community spirit.  All in an effort to create something special on Independence Day.  In Rodeo NM this means parades, dinners, a cake auction, and an evening of dancing. 

As 6 PM approached everyone lining the parade route tuned into AM 1590 (Rodeo Radio), the lead horse riders with the American and New Mexico flags could be seen at the south end of town starting their procession up Highway 80. As with any small town parade the floats are all made locally by families and groups in the area to show their civic pride in Rodeo, the San Simon Valley, and the Boot Heel of New Mexico. This was the 37th year of the Rodeo 4th of July parade and the event is always sponsored and coordinated by the Rodeo Community Association. The best of show this year went to the Chiricahua Peloncillo Historical Society for its' C. S. Fly photography float and its recreation of Geronimo's surrender that ended the Indian wars in the southwest. While the model of Rodeo from the 1950's took best float. After a long line of floats through town, everyone got back to socializing and visiting. I saw people who I have not spoken with in a year so it was a good opportunity to catch up with neighbors and meet folks from the area I did not know.

The post parade events were held at the Rodeo Community Center where the traditional pulled beef brisket dinner was served. A full community center is always a good sign and following dinner the parade prizes were handed out to the winning entries. This was followed by the annual cake auction which raises funds for the Rodeo community scholarship fund which provides funds for local students seeking higher education. Rounding out the evening was the annual dance at the community center which I had to miss. With guests arriving for another family reunion at the Painted Pony Resort I had to get back to work.

It was a great break from the normal routine and another special day for me in Rodeo.

The start of the parade in Rodeo NM
Chiricahua Peloncillo Historical Society
C. S. Fly and Geronimo's surrender
The mini mule
1950's in Rodeo
The Southwest Research station

Dinner at the Rodeo Community Center


  1. I think the Catholic Church float for their 60th anniversary won best float and Craig McEwan [C.S.Fly] spearheaded THAT float also. He was exhausted! I bet it was 2 days [more with painting signs] of work to get just the Geronimo float ready. Craig says he has 3 float ideas for next year and then he added "just kidding"

  2. Oops, my mistake, didn't Junior also win something for his float?

  3. He may have but not for a "float" to my knowledge. Bill announced Best Float as the Catholic Church and told us NOT to confuse this prize with Best Overall.
    In the past, there have been prizes for 2nd place float which I would have given to SWRS. [new offering this year] Junior's display is a good one but an old one he recycles occasionally [ I think ] [when I ran the parade years ago, Jr had his display and also played his guitar and harmonica for a musical entry, too]

  4. Clearly my mind is going, it was nice while it lasted.

  5. My mind is pretty well gone, too but I happened to be in the RCC when Bill announced the Best Float and said not to mix it up with the Best Overall

  6. It was nice to take some time off from the estate and enjoy some fellowship with folks I had not seen in awhile. I also thought your costume was great. I put the photograph of the group on my facebook page.