The History of Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek
In the early days, Queen Creek was a close-knit farming and ranching community. The next front porch could be a mile or more away, so residents made it a point to hold regular get-togethers where everyone was invited to share in good food and fun activities. As Queen Creek grew, it became important to Town residents to maintain this sense of community and the concept of a week-long event celebrating the area’s rural heritage was born.
See more Queen Creek history here.
Planning for the inaugural Roots N’ Boots Queen Creek began almost 18 months prior to the actual event. Originally a two-day affair, it was designed to be the cornerstone of a new tradition in Queen Creek – one that could expand and grow with the community.
The first Roots N’ Boots in 2011 was a huge success, with an estimated 8,000 people strolling through the gates of Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre – some for the very first time. It was easily the biggest event the Town had produced since the grand opening of the Park – both in scope and in budget. The event was coordinated and chaired by the Town of Queen Creek Special Events staff, with significant support from other departments within the Town of Queen Creek and several volunteer organizations. As hoped, the community really came together to promote our great Town and facility.
There were two PRCA Pro Rodeo performances – one Friday night with approximately 2,000 folks in the stands and one on Saturday, which was a standing-room-only, sell-out crowd of approximately 3,000! The rodeo personnel, the competitors, the stock contractors, all had glowing reviews of the crowd’s energy, the great facility, and the overall production of the rodeo.
The Family Rodeo (now known as Kids N’ Kritters) was also well attended, bringing smiles to the faces of kids and adults alike. The Queen Creek High School FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization led a huge volunteer effort to coordinate and run the calf scramble, pig chases, mutton busting, sack races and the stick-horse barrel races. Another popular event with lots of speed was the Arizona Lawn Mower Racing Association races. Some in attendance came specifically to see the races.
As with all first-time events, there were hiccups along the way. But the best way to measure the success of an event is to solicit honest feedback from the community. We did that and the response was almost universally positive! The Town agreed to do it again in 2012 and from there on out, the Friends of Horseshoe Park took over the lead role in coordination and operations.
These days, our celebration is a four-day event with well over 15,000 folks strolling through the Park entrance each year. We’ve changed a few activities here and there and brought in some new ones. But in general we’ve kept the original concept of Roots N’ Boots intact. It’s still an affordable, family-friendly event that reminds folks of our roots and brings the community together. Kids and adults alike have the opportunity to interact with horses and other livestock – and maybe learn a little along the way. Individuals, families and local businesses join forces in an amazing show of support as financial sponsors and as volunteers. Whether you’re age 3 or 103, there’s always plenty of things to see and do and good food and fun to be had with family, friends and neighbors.