Lost Dutchman Days, Apache Junction’s most anticipated annual celebration, offered a mix of fun, excitement and a hint of danger Saturday.
Visitors lined Apache Trail for the morning parade and then flocked to the carnival and afternoon rodeo, held at the Apache Junction Rodeo Park.
An otherwise peaceful day was disrupted by momentary mayhem when a bull rider was injured and then flown to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital.
"It looks like a bull stepped on him, and that’s about all we know," said battalion chief Steve Stockton of the Apache Junction Fire Department.
Stockton said the unidentified man’s condition was not known as of Saturday afternoon, and that bull riding is typically a dangerous endeavor.
"This is par for the course," he said. "Those things hurt people — they’re huge animals."
Despite the rodeo injury, visitors said the event offered an enjoyable mix of food, music, games, entertainment and pageantry.
"I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for something like this," said Donna Jackson of Mesa. "It’s just beautiful out today."
The event continues today with the carnival and merchant areas opening at 10 a.m. and a rodeo at 1:30 p.m.
If you go
What: 40th Annual Lost Dutchman Days
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today
Where: Apache Junction Rodeo Park, Lost Dutchman Boulevard between Idaho and Tomahawk roads
Information: (480) 982-3141