Parada del Sol Parade, Festival Bring Wild West Back to Scottsdale

Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade | Kent Ennis

The 65th annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade and Trail’s End Festival is set to bring Wild West adventures and history to downtown Scottsdale starting this week.

Parada President Wendy Springborn said the event dates to 1951. Back then, it was named the Sunshine Festival. Springborn, who moved from Illinois to Arizona in 1969, said she has many fond memories of the festival and parade from her early days in the Valley.

“Back in my grade-school days, there would be a month's worth of events going on in downtown Scottsdale leading up to the parade and rodeo," she said. "It’s gotten a smaller footprint as far as dates over time, but the city is really trying to bring back events for a Western week to give residents and visitors an opportunity to experience some of the history of Scottsdale.”

Parade attendees and festivalgoers can experience Western bands, dancing, activities for kids, an Arizona wine garden, Aztec and folklorico dancers, and more. Those who want more than just one day of Western fun can join in events throughout the week, including an art walk and Pony Express mail delivery.

The upcoming Scottsdale Western Week features a number of free, family-friendly events, including:

Western Spirit Gold Palette ArtWalk
Thursday, February 8, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The Scottsdale Gallery Association transforms its popular ArtWalk series with a Western theme, including Scottsdale’s finest examples of Old West and contemporary art. Visitors can experience live mariachi performances, a rope-trick artist and live demonstrations inside some of the galleries.

Hashknife Pony Express Mail Delivery and Community Celebration
Friday, February 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express celebrates its 60th year with riders blazing their trail from the tiny town of Holbrook to the streets of downtown Scottsdale. Arriving on horseback and covering a relay mail route of more than 200 miles, the annual delivery consists of 20,000 pieces of first class mail that bear the “Hashknife Pony Express” insignia.

65th Annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade and Trail’s End Festival
Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m. to noon (parade), noon to 4 p.m. (festival)

As in years past, 2018’s Parada del Sol promises a variety of horse groups, including mounted riders of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse, the Hashknife Pony Express riders and the Scottsdale Charros, as well as horse-drawn carriages, bands, wagons and stagecoaches.

Arizona Indian Festival
Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, February 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Held at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, this two-day, family-friendly event features Arizona tribes sharing cultural experiences, traditional dwellings, art demonstrations, Native American storytelling, performances, music and contemporary entertainment, and an artisan market.

Whether you make it to all the stops or just have time for one Western Week event, consider spending your Saturday in Scottsdale for the parade and festival. “It’s just a wonderful time to come down and see all the beautiful history of Scottsdale in the parade,” Springborn said. “Come out and enjoy a wonderful day and afternoon.”

To learn more about the events planned around the Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade and Trail’s End Festival, visit

— Kirsten Kraklio

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