TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a parade like no other. Thursday morning, about 200,000 people are expected to line the streets of Tucson to watch the annual Rodeo Parade.
Starting at 9 a.m., the parade will start on Ajo Way close to the railroad tracks, working its way east. It will then turn south onto Park Avenue, west onto Irvington Road and North on 6th Avenue.
Wednesday night, many were busy putting the finishing touches on their floats at the Rodeo grounds.
“Everything is coming together, which is good,” said Araceli Moreno, as she stapled pink paper flowers to her family’s float. “This is what’s fun about it; we get to spend a lot of time together, building something that’s important to us and is a big part of our family.”
The Little Mexico Steakhouse float is sporting pink this year, in honor of those who lost their battle with cancer.
“It’s not just for us,” said Moreno. “It’s for them up there.”
So, she gladly helped make about 75 flowers, pinning them up with a sense of accomplishment.
This year, a Navy submarine will be making its way through the parade route on a horse-drawn carriage.
There is also a float with a volcano.
“[We use fog but make it look] more dense, like the way a volcano does when it’s about to erupt,” said Mireya Drum with the KFMA Day float.
Each float tells a story, but voices will be the focus of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus’ entry.
“I am really excited, just a little nervous,” said Chris Soza, “because I don’t want to actually fall and then hit my face.”
Parade organizers say this year is extra special.
“It’s our 95th annual parade,” said Marshall Stewart, the chairman of entries and lineup. “So, there’s not many parades that have lasted 95 years.”
Let alone one that stayed so true to its roots. It’s the largest non-motorized parade in the country.
With nearly 120 entries, it’s sure to be a colorful spectacle.
Road closures will start at 6 a.m., so it’s best to avoid the area if you can. Streets will reopen at noon on Thursday.
Stewart urges people not to bring balloons, umbrellas or noise makers, as these things can spook horses. Also, only certified service animals are allowed at the parade route.