Experience the cowboy way of life - the rugged and adventurous spirit of America’s pioneers while helping to preserve this 22 room 1880s historic ranch house at the Roundup & Open House, 10am to 4pm on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Sonoita, Arizona. Free admission, with a $10 donation per vehicle requested which includes a wagon ride.
An Official Arizona Centennial Event, this year’s Roundup features “Cowboy Life on the Empire Ranch.” Arena events include Cowboy Mounted Shooters, B Troop 4th U.S. Cavalry (Mem), Working Border Collies by CP Ranch, cattle roping by cowboys Joel Eliot & Steve Schmitt, and horsemanship and youth ranch rodeo events. More than 100 participants include demonstrations of horsehair braiding, reata making, branding wood, carving leather, mulepacking, horseshoeing, adobe brick making and more!
Live Western music includes the Bill Ganz Band, Mariachi Apaches from Nogales High School, and western singer Janice Deardorff. Enjoy barbeque and Dutch oven cobbler, and authentic cowboy coffee compliments of Arbuckles’ Coffee Roasters with cowboy actor Don Collier.
Family fun happens all day with cash and gift prizes for “Best Cowboy”, “Best Cowgirl” and “Best Kid’s Cowboy” (12 & under) outfits. The free contest is at the entertainment stage from 2:15pm to 2:45 pm. A large silent auction and multiple raffles are held throughout the day.
Explore the 4-H club’s Kid’s Corral, experience miniature horses and other animals in the petting area, decorate your own stick horse, and make your own brand. Meet & greet a variety of Western authors, and learn about the history of the Empire Ranch from docents as they tell the intriguing and enduring history of the Empire Ranch.
Inside the Ranchhouse, “Cowboy Conversations” will take attendees on intimate journeys featuring a variety of topics including: working and living on the Empire Ranch; history of guns of the West; the life of Walter Vail; reenactments of great Western characters such as Buffalo Bill. Local celebrities Bob Shelton and Don Collier will provide colorful commentary on Western movies fact & fiction.
Western wagons from the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum will be on display throughout the Empire Ranch. Nearby, the Heritage Discovery Trail affords visitors an opportunity to take a guided nature walk to the nearby cottonwoods and Empire Gulch.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Empire Ranch sits on the majestic 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. To get to the Empire Ranch (from Tucson) take I-10 east to exit 281 (Scenic Highway 83). After 18 miles, make a left just after the "Historic Empire Ranch Site" sign between mileposts 40 and 39. For more information, call 888-364-2829 or go to, www.empireranchfoundation.org.
The 2012 Roundup & Open House is sponsored by the Empire Ranch Foundation a 501c3 non profit organization, supporting preservation of the Empire Ranch Headquarters.