top of page
Rex Allen Day

Rex Allen Days

History of Rex Allen Days:

Rex Allen Days is an annual celebration held in Willcox, Arizona, to honor the life and legacy of Rex Allen, the town's most famous native son. Born on December 31, 1920, Rex Allen became a beloved figure in Western films, country music, and voice acting. Known as the "Arizona Cowboy," his contributions to the entertainment industry left an indelible mark on American culture. The event was established as a way to commemorate his achievements and to celebrate the heritage of the American West.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

The First Rex Allen Days:
The inaugural Rex Allen Days took place in 1951, just a couple of years after Rex Allen had made his debut in Hollywood. The event was initially conceived by local community leaders and fans who wanted to pay tribute to Allen's influence and to bring the community together. The first celebration was a modest affair, featuring a small parade, a rodeo, and a few musical performances. Despite its humble beginnings, the event was a success and quickly became an annual tradition.

Growth and Development:

Over the years, Rex Allen Days grew in both size and scope. The festival began to incorporate more events and attractions, becoming a multi-day celebration that drew visitors from across the state and beyond. The rodeo, one of the main attractions, began to feature more competitive events, attracting professional cowboys and cowgirls.

The parade also expanded, with more elaborate floats, marching bands, and appearances by Western film stars, including Rex Allen himself. The event became a showcase for local talent, with musical performances, dance troupes, and theatrical productions adding to the festivities.

Honoring Rex Allen:

Rex Allen was a regular attendee of the event until his passing in 1999. He often participated in the parade, performed at concerts, and engaged with fans. His presence added a special significance to the celebration, making it a personal tribute as well as a public spectacle.

In 1989, the Rex Allen Museum was established in Willcox to coincide with the annual celebration. The museum houses a collection of memorabilia from Allen's career, including movie posters, costumes, photographs, and personal items. It serves as a year-round attraction and a focal point during Rex Allen Days.

Modern Era:

Today, Rex Allen Days is a vibrant and multifaceted event that spans an entire weekend in early October. It has evolved into one of the premier Western heritage festivals in the United States, offering a wide range of activities and entertainment for all ages. Key components of the festival now include:

- Rodeo Competitions: Featuring events like bull riding, barrel racing, and team roping.
- Parade: A grand procession with floats, marching bands, and community groups.
- Live Music: Concerts featuring country and Western music acts.
- Carnival: Rides, games, and food vendors for family entertainment.
- Vendor Booths: Local artisans and merchants selling crafts, food, and Western-themed merchandise.
- Historical Exhibits: Displays and presentations about Rex Allen and the history of Willcox.
- Petting Zoos and Animal Exhibits: Family-friendly attractions showcasing local wildlife and farm animals.

Community Impact:

Rex Allen Days has a significant economic and social impact on the community of Willcox. The festival brings in thousands of visitors, boosting local businesses and tourism. It also fosters a sense of community pride and cohesion, as residents come together to celebrate their shared heritage and honor a local hero.


Rex Allen Days stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Rex Allen and the cultural heritage of the American West. From its modest beginnings in 1951 to its current status as a major annual event, the festival continues to honor the spirit of the "Arizona Cowboy" and the values he embodied. It remains a cherished tradition for the people of Willcox and a beloved celebration for all who attend.

bottom of page