The 68th Annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Historic Parade and Trail’s End Festival presented by Oliver Smith Jeweler will return to the streets of Old Town Scottsdale on Feb. 5. The longstanding event — managed by the Scottsdale Charros, Scottsdale’s Goodwill Ambassadors — brings together the community, Scottsdale visitors and local businesspeople to celebrate Scottsdale’s western roots and vibrant culture.
This year’s parade is themed “Back in the Saddle” in reference to the 2021 hiatus due to COVID restrictions. “We are thrilled to bring this important tradition and recognition of Scottsdale’s past back to the streets of Old Town in 2022,” said Dennis Robbins of the Scottsdale Charros, which leverages events such as this one to raise funds to distribute back into the Scottsdale community and education system. “Along with our partners and sponsors, we look forward to presenting the very best Parada del Sol and Trail’s End festival yet to entice future generations to keep this tradition alive well into the future.”
The parade typically includes around 150 entries, including colorful floats, mounted horse-riders, horse-drawn carriages, marching bands, scout troops, wagons and stagecoaches representing many cultures from Mexican to Native American to Arabian to Western.
Oliver Smith Jeweler — owned and operated by President Oliver Smith, a lifetime member of the Scottsdale Charros — serves as the event’s title sponsor. Other important sponsors, including Discount Tire and countless volunteers and City of Scottsdale members, help propel the event’s success. Dan Harkins of Harkins Theatres will serve as this year’s Parade Grand Marshal.
Immediately after the parade, the Trail’s End Festival will transform Scottsdale’s Historic Old Town District into a massive (and free!) Western-style block party featuring three live entertainment stages, including concerts from popular bands and traditional performances. The Trail’s End Festival also includes a kids’ corral with multiple inflatables and mechanical rides, food trucks and beer vendors, merchandise stands, arts and crafts booths and more.
Applications for the Scottsdale Parada del Sol Historic Parade entries will be being taken through Jan. 24. For more information, visit scottsdaleparade.com.
Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.