The city of Pecos, is diverse in it’s western heritage due in part to the location near the Pecos River. The community is on the high prairie at the northern border of the Chihuahuan Desert – 210 miles east of El Paso, 392 miles west of Fort Worth on I-20, and 85 miles south of Carlsbad, New Mexico. This area of Texas west of the Pecos River – is called the Trans-Pecos area.
Rodeo! From the days of trick riding to today’s bronc bucking, just to think of the word brings a feeling of excitement to many people. Excitement was in the dusty air of Pecos in 1883 when a few cowboys met to find out who was the best at riding and roping. There was a tradition of competition among the horsemen who made a living in the daily chores about the ranch headquarters or trailing a herd of cattle.
The first official competition was held on July 4th to determine the winner of “braggin’ rights” as best cowhand in the west in that summer of 1883. Since that was a holiday, most ranchers, cowboys and townspeople could attend. When that day came, there were horses, wagons, people – coming from all directions to see what was going to happen, and to find out how their favorite cowboy would fair.
Each year the competition was held again, and this year, 2013, will be the 130th Anniversary of the West of the Pecos Rodeo, held at the Buck Jackson Arena in Pecos.
The legends and stories of the mythical “Pecos Bill” rose from the campfires of this time . . . and they live on in books and movies produced through today. He was “raised by coyotes”, and rode a tornado across the west. A great display of Pecos Bill memorabilia may be found at the West of the Pecos Museum.
Pecos today reflects the influence of the cowboy, rancher, railroad man, Angelo and Mexican pioneers. This blended culture is evident in the faces on the street, the food, the architecture, the arts, and the agriculture. Because of the underground water access-Pecos excels in agriculture including onions, sweet Pecos Cantaloupe, pecans, pistachios and in oil and gas production.
Pecos has lots of cool sites to visit and we invite you to place historic Pecos on your list of hot spots to visit along the trail!