Kick up your heels: Fort Verde Days celebrates 61 years of fun

“Our annual Fort Verde Days this year has a lot to offer the citizens of our Town,” says Bobbie Tennant, secretary and vendor chairman for Camp Verde Promotions. VVN/Bill Helm

“Our annual Fort Verde Days this year has a lot to offer the citizens of our Town,” says Bobbie Tennant, secretary and vendor chairman for Camp Verde Promotions. VVN/Bill Helm

You could run with the bulls in Spain. Or you could come to Camp Verde’s annual Fort Verde Days.

So maybe you can’t run with the bulls in Camp Verde, but you can watch plenty of bull riders at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel’s Stargazer Pavilion at 7 p.m. Oct. 12-13.

It’s back. The Bull Bash is back. Not since 2013 has Camp Verde been the home of bull riding activities, and Fort Verde Days just isn’t the same without it.

Tickets are available online for $10 at www.cliffcastlecasinohotel.com, or for $15 the day of the event. Kids 12 and younger are $5.

Perhaps the biggest story at this year’s Fort Verde Days celebration is the return of the bull bash, but that’s not all.

Check out what else is going on at the 61st annual Fort Verde Days, Oct. 12-14, with events on Friday and Saturday in downtown Camp Verde and on Saturday and Sunday at Fort Verde State Historic Park.

Friday, Oct. 12

Chili Cook-Off, Baby Photo contest, Corn Hole competition, Tug of War contest, live entertainment and carnival rides-aplenty in downtown Camp Verde.

“Our annual Fort Verde Days this year has a lot to offer the citizens of our Town,” says Bobbie Tennant, secretary and vendor chairman for Camp Verde Promotions.

Tennant says she’d “like to encourage all to come join in the fun and take part in all our contests, enjoy all our vendors and our entertainment.”

Visit Camp Verde Promotions’ website, www.campverdepromotions.org/fortverdedays, for more information on each of the weekend’s events.

Saturday, Oct. 13

Pancakes and sausage, coffee and/or OJ from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. Saturday, as the Camp Verde Kiwanis sponsor their annual Fort Verde Days Pancake Breakfast at the Ramada next to Fort Verde.

Same time, same channel, but different location for the annual Camp Verde Lions Car Show, which starts at 7 a.m. at the Rio Verde Plaza on Main Street.

At 8 a.m. Saturday starts the inaugural Fort Verde Days K-Runs at Veterans Memorial Park on Middle Verde Road.

Right now, “about 65 participants have signed up for the race,” says Camp Verde Economic Development Director Steve Ayers.

With staggered starts, the race- each race – will both start and end at Veterans Memorial Park below Cliff Castle Casino Hotel on Montezuma Castle Highway.

The 10k will start at 8 a.m., the 5k at 8:15 a.m., and the 3k at 8:20 a.m. The award ceremony will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.

The annual parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, with Bread of Life Director Duane Burris as this year’s parade grand marshal.

Following the parade, check out the Jail-a-Thon, Vendors and Beer Garden, Questers’ Pies and Pickles sale, the presentation of Colonel’s Daughter, presentation of parade’s winners, crowning of Little Britches and Petticoats winners, the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl winners, Corn Hole Competition run off and plenty of live entertainment throughout the day.

Also, plenty going on at Fort Verde on Saturday, such as Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, Living History, camp displays, infantry/artillery drills and cannon demonstrations.

The Fort will hold a Flag Raising Ceremony at 9 a.m., Dutch oven lunch at noon, 1860s-era Vintage Base Ball game at 1 p.m., then finally a Flag Lowering ceremony.

Storytelling by the Fire begins at 6 p.m. featuring Betty Kent and Geronimo.

Sunday, Oct. 14

Carnival activities are scheduled downtown from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., with activities-a-plenty at Fort Verde, such as Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, Living History, camp displays, infantry/artillery drills, period church service and cannon demonstrations, flag raising and flag lowering.

At 8 a.m., see Barrel Racing and Pole Jumping, at Nashwa Farms, which is located at 3500 W. Mahoney Road in Camp Verde.

For more information, visit campverdepromotions.org or call 928-301-0922. For more information about events at Fort Verde State Historic Park, call 928-567-3275 or visit https://azstateparks.com/fort-verde.

Fort Verde Days

Downtown schedule of events

--- Schedule is tentative and subject to change ---

Friday, Oct. 12

4-11 p.m. - Carnival Opens; Soccer Field

4-10 p.m. - Vendors & Beer Garden; Soccer Field

4-8 p. m. - Quilt Show & Fabric Craft Boutique; Community Center Gym

4-8 p.m. - CVHS Art Show, Town Hall room 305

4-6 p.m. - Chili – Cook-off; Soccer Field

4-6 p. m. - Live Entertainment by Dave Rice; Ramada Stage

5 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Tug-of-War; Soccer Field

6:30-9 p.m. - Live Entertainment by JC Reckless Band; Ramada Stage

7 p.m. - Baby Contest winner announced; Soccer Field Stage

7-9 p.m. - Corn Hole Competition (cash prizes); Soccer Field

Saturday, Oct. 13

7- 9:30 a.m. - Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast; Community Center kitchen

7-2 p.m. - Lions Club Car Show; Rio Plaza Parking Lot

8 a.m. - 10K run begins; Veterans Memorial Park

8:15 a.m. - 5K run begins; Veterans Memorial Park

8:20 a.m. - 3K run begins; Veterans Memorial Park

9 a.m. - Flag Raising Ceremony; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

9 a.m.-noon - Jail-a-thon (Arrest $5, Get out of Jail $5); Parade route

9:30 a.m. - K-runs awards ceremony; Veterans Memorial Park

9:30-4 p.m. - Quilt Show & Fabric Craft Boutique; Community Center Gym

10 a.m. - Parade; Main Street

10-10 p.m. - Vendors and Beer Garden; Soccer Field

11-5 p.m. – Questers’ Pies and pickles sales; Hance House

11-11 p.m. - Carnival; Soccer Field

11:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. - Live Entertainment by Sky Daddy; Ramada Stage

11:30 a.m. - Presentation of Colonel’s Daughter; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

Noon – 4 p.m. - Judging of Best Dressed Cowboy & Girl; Soccer Field Stage

Noon- Dutch Oven Lunch (suggested $6 donation); Cook Shack 

1 p.m. - Dr. Sam Palmer: The Battle of Big Dry Wash; Fort Verde Administration/

Museum building

1 p.m. - Vintage Baseball Game, Fort Verde Excelsiors; Fort Verde

Parade Grounds

2 p.m. - Fashion Show); Fort Verde Parade Grounds

2-2:45 p.m. - Presentation of Colonel’s Daughter; Soccer Field Stage

2:45-3 p.m. - Presentation of parade winners; Soccer Field Stage

3-3:15 p.m. - Crowning of Little Britches and Petticoats winners; Soccer

Field Stage

3–6 p.m. - Live Entertainment by Reed Brothers; Ramada Stage

3:30 p.m. - Cannon demonstration. Pending availability of artillery unit; Fort

Verde Parade Grounds

4:30 p.m. - Flag Retreat Ceremony, Military/service units, cannon pending

availability; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

6:30–9 p.m. - Live Entertainment by Sweet Baby Ray’s Blue Smoke Band;

Ramada Stage

7 p.m. - Best Dressed contest winner announced; Soccer Field Stage

7–9 p.m. - Corn Hole Competition (cash prizes); Soccer Field

Throughout the day: Dutch oven cooking demonstrations; Living History,

camp displays; infantry/artillery drills, cannon demonstrations; Fort Verde

Sunday, Oct. 14

9 a.m. - Flag Raising Ceremony; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

9:30 a.m. - All available units, drill; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

10:30 a.m. - Period Church services; Fort Verde Commanding Officer’s Quarters

Noon - Dutch Oven Lunch (suggested $6 donation); Cook Shack

1 p.m. - Dr. Sam Palmer: The Battle of Big Dry Wash; Fort Verde Administration/

Museum building

1:30 p.m. - Drill, as available; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

2 p.m. - Flag Retreat Ceremony; Fort Verde Parade Grounds

Dutch oven cooking demonstrations until noon; Fort Verde

--- Schedule is tentative and subject to change ---

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