If you're not a steer in Scottsdale this weekend, we'd bet a bucking bronco you're a queer. But that's the point of the 19th annual RoadRunner Regional Rodeo, which rolls into Rawhide Wild West Town from Friday, January 16, through Sunday, January 18. Sponsored by the International Gay Rodeo Association, the three-day affair features gay and straight contestants who cowboy up for the same cause: raising money for charity and raising hell for rodeo fundamentalists. It has the usual rodeo shenanigans -- bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping -- but with a "wild and hairy" twist, says Sharon Starks, public relations director for the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association.
Campy events include a wild drag race, featuring a drag-draped contestant mounting a steer; a steer-decorating competition; and, perhaps most popular, the goat-dressing contest, which involves a pair of jockey-style underwear and an unsuspecting goat. 'Nuff said.
The rodeo does more than rouse your inner gay ranch hand, however. A new "Ms. AGRA" will be crowned Friday night, and live entertainment, including two performances by the all-female Desert Heart Band, is provided throughout the weekend.
Mosey on down to Rawhide at Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak roads. Admission is $15 per day; children under 12 are admitted free. For more information, call Rawhide at 480-502-1880 or visit www.agra-phx.com. - Ashlea Deahl
Catch the cold and the beautiful at AWA
Forever milking the cash Salchow, the world's most famed figure skaters are on the road -- again. The latest sequined showcase, Smucker's Stars on Ice, spins into America West Arena this Thursday, January 15. Leading the ice pack: four-time world champ Kurt Browning, Olympic golden girl turned DUI offender Oksana Baiul, Olympic golden boy turned DUI offender Alexei Yagudin, and the title-sharers from the cold war two winters ago: Olympics pairs champs Jamie Salé and David Pelletier of Canada and Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia. Tickets start at $25; stop by the arena box office, 201 East Jefferson, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.- Jill Koch