Submitted by Town of Florence
Photo by Jeff Graves, Town of Florence
The 90th year of the Jr. Parada Parade was lead Nov. 26 by Grand Marshal John W. Whitlow Sr., grandson of Charles A. Whitlow Sr., the founder of the Florence Junior Parada in 1932. John Whitlow was born and raised in Florence in 1949 on the Whitlow W4 ranch. Known as Johnny growing up, he was raised in the rodeo scene and helped his grandfather year after year with the Junior Parada, which is the oldest junior rodeo in the United States. Johnny also was one of the youngest entries in the rodeo circuit, traveling across Arizona at age 5. He remembers helping his “papa” build the new Whitlow Rodeo Arena. He graduated from Florence High School in 1967 and worked for the County and the prison. Johnny rode his last bull in 1975 but continued roping until his late 70s. He has many great memories growing up in Florence, working with his “papa,” and enjoying the rodeo grounds he helped build. It was the Town of Florence’s great honor for John W. Whitlow to reign as Grand Marshal.