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The First Rodeo in Payson

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The First Rodeo in Payson

Originally called Green Valley, Payson was named after the postmaster when establishing the post office. The name change was needed to avoid confusion with other “Green Valleys” in the area.

In 1884, the first-ever rodeo took place when cowboys gathered here to compete in ranching activities. In addition to hosting the world’s oldest continuous rodeo, Payson is home to Tonto Natural Bridge –the world’s largest natural travertine bridge.

Surrounded by the Tonto National Forrest, Payson attracts tourists through the Beeline Highway with its scenic views and cool climate. The economy is also driven by trade, manufacturing and several professional services.

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The Arizona 100