Roundup & Open House


Make your plans today to join us at the Historic Empire Ranch for the 2014 Roundup & Open House on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.   

See YOU at the Ranch!


The Roundup & Open House on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014 will showcase the Empire Ranch in all its glory — past, present & future! We expect approximately 2500 people to come to enjoy presentations and demonstrations to engage children and adults in the history and lore of the Old West. Throughout the day attendees will re-live cowboy traditions, watch exciting arena events featuring roping and riding, western skill demonstrations, “Cowboy Conversations,”  kid’s corral, Western music, Western authors arena, food, auctions, and raffles. The Roundup & Open House provides a day long Western experience at the Historic Empire Ranch.

We need your help! Volunteer for the day or consider signing up for set up or take-down. PLEASE contact Ali Boelts ERF Admin at for information about the event or available volunteer opportunities.

The Roundup is a community effort. Your support of this authentic event is greatly appreciated.  Click here to learn about being a Sponsor, Auction Donor, or Volunteer. 



  • Military Riding, B Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry (Mem.)
  • Tombstone Ghost Riders/Cowboy Mounted Shooters
  • Ranch Roping & Cattle Handling – Joel Eliot, Brian Baldwin & Deanna Welsh
  • Horse’n Around Rescue Ranch Rehabilitation DemoSteve Boice


  • Brickmaking with AdobeChris Schrager, Bureau of Land Management
  • Basics of BlacksmithingCasey Abbs
  • Branding Irons – Bill Schock
  • Farrier’s Work of Shoeing HorsesJohn Russell
  • Lessons of Leather CarvingBen Claridge
  • Make Your Own Reata – Dick Schorr
  • Ranching ToolsDean Fish
  • Stories of Saddle MakingLynne London & Kevin Berry
  • Weaving Horsehair RopeJesús García
  • Woodcarving – David Valenzuela


  • History of Cordage & Horsehair Ropemaking – Jesús García
  • Living History of Buffalo Bill – Dane Johnson
  • Stuntmen In Front & Behind the Camera – Rodd Woolf, Bunker de France
  • Behind the Camera – Bob Shelton, Don Collier, Rodd Woolf, Bunker de France, Marty Freese
  • Tales of Lawman Jeff Milton – John R. Larkin
  • Guns of the Old West - John R. Larkin 
  • Living History of Buffalo Bill by Buffalo Bill – Dane Johnson
  • The Empire Ranch Was My Back Yard Steve Boice
  • Vail Family Vignettes – Susan Vail Hoffman
  • The Story of Walter Vail Van Fowers
  • Working Empire Ranch Cowboy (1940’s) – Gerald Korte


  • The Bill Ganz Western Band 
  • Janice Deardorff, Western singer/songwriter
  • Sarah Deardorff, line dancing demonstration
  • Cadillac Mountain Bluegrass Band


  • Arbuckles’ Cowboy Coffee with cowboy actor Don Collier
  • Barbeque & Fixins served by the Elgin/Sonoita Cowbelles
  • Cowboy Life Exhibit
  • Historic Wagons, Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum
  • Home-made Dutch Oven Cobbler -Tom & Cheryl Rogos
  • Interpretive Hikes of the Heritage Discovery TrailGail Corkill
  • Kid’s Corral –  Local 4 H Clubs
  • Miniature Horses – S & N Ranch
  • Non-profit Partners
  • Silent Auction & Raffle
  • Stick Horse Decorating
  • Tortilla Making – Lydia Martinez
  • Territorial Kitchen -Vail Preservation Society
  • Western Authors
  • Western Re-enactors -Arizona Ghostriders


  • Anonymous
  • Arbuckle’s Coffee Roasters
  • Capital Wealth Investments
  • Honorable Ray Carroll
  • Classic Tents
  • Jack Furrier Western Tire
  • Steve Hazen
  • Hinman’s Wood & Wool
  • Realty Executives/Bryce & Sally Reichardt
  • Roberts & Associates, PLC
  • Schouten & Sullivan, CPAs
  • Stewart Title
  • Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum
  • Carl Vail


Almost all of the Roundup events and activities are wheel chair accessible; handicapped parking and restrooms are available. The terrain around the Empire Ranch headquarters is primarily dirt with some uneven surfaces that can be challenging for some wheel chairs and  mobility scooters.

Directions from Tucson

Take I-10 east; take exit 281 onto Scenic Highway 83 south toward Sonoita; go 18 miles to just past milepost 40. Turn left at the “Empire Ranch Historic Site” sign. Driving instructions with map.