Though the preliminary events are already underway, there’s still plenty to see and do over the next 10 days at the 52nd annual Mul-Chu-Tha Fair & Rodeo at Sacaton.
Missa Miguel, a spokesperson for the Fair & Rodeo, said the public is welcome to experience the annual celebration of Mul-Chu-Tha heritage. Because of limited shade, though, attendees are asked to bring their own umbrellas and chairs.
“One of the new events this year is what we call the ‘Community Stage,’ which has more attractions than it did last year,” Miguel said, adding that Teresa Choyuga, a Native American comedian, will be the MC of the annual parade at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 15.
Entertainment for the Community Stage includes the bands Stateline, Powerdrive and the 1491’s, along with the Fearless Flores Thrill Show, DJ’s Nicasio and Whoa, and Gila River’s Got Talent contest.
For the opening weekend, the Mui-Chu-Tha Fair is hosting a chair volleyball tournament today and Friday. A slowpitch softball tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, in addition to a half marathon run on Saturday.
When the Fair & Rodeo resumes on March 14, it starts with Community Day. A barbecue dinner is available at 5 p.m. to the first 2,000 patrons, and there’s unlimited carnival rides from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. along with half-price admission across the board. The All-Indian Junior Rodeo starts at 8 a.m., and the Bull Bash is at 6 p.m., both at the Sacaton Rodeo Arena.
On Saturday, March 15, the Competition Pow Wow takes place at the Sacaton Fair Grounds with six divisions of competition for adults, teenagers and younger children. The gourd dance is scheduled for noon and 6 p.m., and the grand entry is set for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. A thoka tournament (a form of field hockey) starts at 1 p.m.
The All-Indian Rodeo and wild horse race highlight the events for March 15-16. The rodeo starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday, followed each day by the wild horse race.
The All-Indian men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are scheduled for March 14-16, and a horseshoe tournament is set for March 14-15.
Admission is $4 for children and elderly, and $6 for adults.
Mui-Chu-Tha was established in 1962 as a fundraising effort to build a community swimming pool and the organization has served the Gila River Indian Community ever since. For more information about the Fair & Rodeo, visit http://mul-chu-tha.com or call (520) 562-6087.