Pony Express invites GRIC to 2016 Cowboy Days and O’odham Tash
February 19, 2016
Thomas R. Throssell
The 2016 Casa Grande Cowboy Days & O’odham Tash Pony Express stopped by GRIC on the morning of Feb. 5, inviting the Community to the event’s festivities.
Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, a long with 2015 Miss Gila River Sienna Whittington and Jr. Miss Gila River Charisma Quiroz, were present to hand off the Community’s mail to the group of riders, with Casa Grande city councilman Dick Powell formally accepting the letters.
The Pony Express riders traveled for two days, Feb. 4 and 5, meeting with local leaders from the communities of Maricopa, Casa Grande, Cottonwood, GRIC, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Eloy, Coolidge, and Florence.
“We reach out to all of the surrounding communities inviting all the dignitaries to the [rodeo events],” said Deb Eve, Chairman of the Pony Express group. “We like to get the kids involved by [collecting their] letters and we put these letters in the mail bag…and it goes through the whole ride with us and in the end all these letters will go back to the Casa Grande post office.”
The annual invitation by the Pony Express group has become a custom over the years and was started more than 25 years ago by former Gilbert Post Office worker Charlotte McGrew.
The customary occasion acts as a promotional event for local communities to join the annual Casa Grande Cowboy Days & O’odham Tash, which was held this year from Feb. 12-21.
Festivities included the Cowboy Classic Golf tournament, a carnival, softball tournament, toka tournament, parade and more. The main rodeo events were held from Feb. 14-15 at the Ed Hooper Memorial Arena located at 2525 N. Pinal Ave. in Casa Grande, AZ.
The rodeo and fair featured members of many local Native communities including GRIC, the Tohono O’odham Nation, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and more.
“We would like to thank [GRIC] for all of their continued support throughout all of the years,” said Eve. “Allowing us to come up…and be a part of [the] community, and we appreciate the hospitality [shown] every year.