Roots N' Boots Queen Creek, an event that celebrates the town's rural heritage, is set for March 15-19. This is the 13th year Friends of Horseshoe Park, a nonprofit chartered in 2010 to support the Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre in Queen Creek, has put on the event.
"The original idea came from the Town of Queen Creek. They decided they wanted to put on a professional rodeo and the parks and rec staff put on the first one. Then, they reached out to our organization to help support Horseshoe Park because it was way too much work for town staff to do after the first year, so we did," explained Rich Robertson, vice president and member of the board of directors of Friends of Horseshoe Park. "We're very much a partnership with the town in this event. Proceeds from this event we bring back to the park. These are professionally sanctioned rodeos and these are real cowboys."
While the event features Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performances, Friends of Horseshoe Park stresses that it's "more than a rodeo."
"Roots N' Boots was intended to be a community event for Queen Creek, San Tan Valley and the East Valley," Robertson said. "It's typically young families that have moved to Queen Creek for the western lifestyle. They were attracted to the community, but as it grows it's kind of losing that agricultural feel and this event brings that back. And, of course, everyone wears boots.
"We don't charge for everything and it's more than a rodeo," he continued. "We get the kids physically engaged with animals and livestock. It's a chance for them to roll around in the dirt. On Friday, we have a kids rodeo for special needs children and on Sunday we'll have a free pancake breakfast."
Being "more than a rodeo," Roots N' Boots is four days of family-friendly western fun and entertainment for all ages and includes a carnival, clinics, live entertainment, pony rides, petting zoo, draft horse meet n' greet, vendors and even mounted shooting. Rodeo dances will take place Friday and Saturday nights and activities for ages 3 and up include the Kids n’ Kritters, Mutton Bustin’, Xtreme Teen and Ranch Dressing.
Tickets can be purchased online at rootsnboots.org.
Queen Creek's Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre is located at 20464 E. Riggs Road, just west of Ellsworth Road.