The Tucson Rodeo Parade originated in February 1925. At that time, it preceded the Tucson Rodeo and was a one-day event, both of which were conceived with the thought that they could benefit Tucson’s economy by attracting tourists. The plan worked! Now, 99 years later, both are going strong, with the Rodeo Parade being the World's Largest Non-Motorized Parade
Not long after the first parade and rodeo, the group that was formed to present both the Parade and Rodeo began acquiring horse-drawn vehicles. Since 1925, the Parade Committee has acquired over 125 vehicles, most of which were donated. In addition to the collection of vehicles, the museum also has several exhibits on the history of Tucson, including an 1880 Railroad Display, and a re-creation of what Tucson would've looked like in 1900. All of this takes place in the first airplane hangar constructed in Tucson, which dates back to the early 1920s.
Today, the museum has an extensive collection of horse-drawn carriages, buggies, stagecoaches, and other horse-drawn vehicles, impeccably maintained and restored to their former glory. Many of these vehicles play a significant role in the actual history, and the cinematic history of Southern Arizona, such as a Surrey carriage used in the film Oklahoma!, and a buckboard wagon used as a prop in High Chapparal, which was filmed at Old Tucson. Also see the French-made Coronation Carriage that was used for the 1864 coronation of Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico, and a personal buggy of Andrew Carnegie.
The museum in generally open from November through April, being closed during the week of the Rodeo Parade (since the vehicles in the museum's collection are used in the parade). When open, the museum is typically open from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM Thursday-Saturday, with the last admission being at 2:00 PM. Visit the museum's website (linked below) for up-to-date information on opening hours and ticket prices.