Kingman's Andy Devine Days are here

Expect floats, music - and 'tough bulls'

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br>
The 2011 Andy Devine Days Rodeo was held at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.
The team of Rube Woolsey and Tom Johnson participated in the team roping event.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> The 2011 Andy Devine Days Rodeo was held at the Mohave County Fairgrounds. The team of Rube Woolsey and Tom Johnson participated in the team roping event.

Festivities to celebrate Andy Devine Days kick off today and last through this weekend and next with the parade, the rodeo and a softball tournament at Centennial Park.

Though the parade and rodeo are this weekend and the softball tournament is next weekend, there's a first-come, first-served chili feed at 6 p.m. today at Martin Swanty Dodge, 2620 Andy Devine Ave. At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Cow Plop takes place at The Boot Barn, 3320 Stockton Hill Road.

But the real fun starts Saturday with the 42nd Annual Andy Devine Days Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on the corner of First and Beale streets.

"It's exciting to see all that Kingman has to offer," said third-year parade organizer Yvonne Cossio.

The local business team of Krystal Burge and Mark Peterson will serve as Grand Marshalls, and KGMN Super Country DJ DanO gets his first chance to announce the parade from the review stand on the corner of Fourth and Beale streets.

There are 90 entries this year, including several floats, vehicles, businesses, bands and Shriners, Cossio said. Rep. Doris Goodale, Vice Mayor Janet Watson, District 1 Supervisor Gary Watson, Councilwoman Erin Cochran, the Kingman Youth Advisory Commission and possibly Mayor John Salem will all be participating in the parade.

Though this is Cossio's third year organizing the event, she's been involved with it for over a decade.

"It's not my first rodeo," Cossio said.

The biggest challenge of organizing the parade is managing the parade lineup, she said. It may seem easy, but it's far from it.

She said it's good to avoid having back-to-back entries include music because one entry ends up drowning out the other. It's also good to keep the horses away from the music because it makes them restless, she said.

"You really want your horse entries in the first half of the parade," she said. This poses another challenge.

Though it's good for the horse entries to go early, it's not good to have them go one after the other because spectators, including the announcer, can't tell when one entry ends and another begins, Cossio said.

The gates to the 28th Annual Andy Devine Days Rodeo open at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Blvd., and the events starts at 2 p.m. At 1 p.m. Sunday, the second day of the rodeo begins, and the gates open at the same time as Saturday.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, 2012 Rodeo Teen Queen Kirsten Lewis and 2012 Rodeo Queen Jessica Somers will crown 2013's queens, which will be announced at the event.

"They represented us very well," said Tiffany Leo, who organizes the coronation festivities. "They attended several rodeos throughout the state and represented the Kingman rodeo at other rodeos to create interest."

Honeycutt Rodeo, Inc. is the rodeo's stock contractor and has been for decades. The family-owned company provides the rodeo animals and puts on the two-day production.

"We put the whole rodeo on," said Roy Honeycutt, the company's founder.

The company plans on bringing about 115 animals, including horses, bulls, steers and calves. The cowboys come from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Honeycutt said.

"We've got some awfully tough bulls this year," Honeycutt said. "The cowboys are going to have a rough time."

But that's what they want, Honeycutt said. The tougher the bull, the bigger the reward, he said.

Though Honeycutt started the company in 1976, his father-in-law Walter Alsbaugh put the Kingman rodeo on even before that.

Honeycutt said the Andy Devine Days rodeo is special to him for a couple of reasons. First, the relationship between Honeycutt Rodeo, Inc. and the Kingsmen, the local group that presents the rodeo, is strong.

"There's some really great people in that organization," Honeycutt said. "They organize great rodeos and keep the program together. We have a great relationship."

His other reason has more to do with Kingman and chance than it does with the rodeo. But a cow was involved.

His wife, Virginia, told him before they were married 50 years ago that if he wanted to marry her, he'd have to buy her a steak. They were on a road trip when she said this and just happened to be close to Kingman, so he whipped the car around, took her to a local steakhouse that isn't here any longer and bought her a steak.

"That's where it all started," he said. "I look forward to the Kingman rodeo every year. It's going to be a good time."