A.J. FLICK Citizen Staff Writer
Famed rodeo announcer Hadley Barrett, considered the ”Walter Cronkite of rodeo,” has been chosen grand marshal of the 75th Tucson Rodeo Parade.
Barrett, longtime announcer for the Tucson Rodeo and a member of the PRCA’s Hall of Fame, is scheduled to be introduced at a 1 p.m. press conference this afternoon at the Rodeo Parade Museum at Sixth Avenue and Irvington Road.
Barrett, 70, is a three-time PRCA Announcer of the Year and four-time announcer at the National Finals Rodeo.
”About 98 percent of the stuff we do is off the cuff,” he said in a 1995 interview with the Tucson Citizen. ”You try and work in some time explaining the events to people who haven’t seen a rodeo before.
”And sometimes, you see stuff you’ve never seen before.”
Barrett believes rodeo has been maligned.
”I think there is a gross misconception about this sport. These guys aren’t crazy, they’re skilled athletes,” Barrett said. ”You get a good cross section of people out here. It just gives you a good feeling to see family and friends walking around having a good time.”
As a rancher and former rodeo performer, Barrett knows the sport inside and out. And for more than 35 years, he has fronted his own Western music band, Hadley Barrett and the Westerners.
An estimated 200,000 spectators are expected to watch the Tucson Rodeo Parade on Feb. 24. The 75th annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros begins Feb. 20 with the Tucson Women’s Pro Rodeo. The Tucson Pro Rodeo will be held Feb. 23-27.
The Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee and the Triple C Chuckwagon will host a special Sunday afternoon matinee with the Sons of the Pioneers at 3 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Triple C, 8900 W. Bopp Road.
Cost is $20 per person, which includes barbecue dinner. Tickets are available at the Tucson Rodeo Parade Office, 4823 S. Sixth Ave., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Proceeds benefit the Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum.
For more information, call 741-2233.