Pony Express delivers mail — and the Old West — to Scottsdale

(Photo by Greg McKelvey)

(Photo by Greg McKelvey)

The Pony Express endures as one of the most daring and romantic chapters of the American West.

That era comes to life this week across Arizona, culminating in a colorful, hoof-pounding mail delivery at high noon Friday, Jan. 29, in downtown Scottsdale.

The public is invited to attend when more than two dozen members of the Hashknife Pony Express conclude their 200-mile horseback trek at the Passing the Legacy sculpture near the Marshall Way Bridge.

They will deliver 20,000 letters specially marked by the U.S. Postal Service in a tradition that dates to 1958, according to a press release. Following a brief ceremony and a Cowboy Camp for kids, a free public meet and greet takes place from 1:15 to 3 p.m. with riders and horses at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way.

The Hashknife riders – members of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Posse – begin their journey Wednesday in Holbrook. They take on the weather and some of Arizona’s most rugged terrain to participate in the oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express route in the world.

After overnight stops in Payson Wednesday and along the Verde River Thursday, the riders make a stop in Fountain Hills before delivering the mail in Scottsdale.

This year’s journey will be captured and preserved like never before. The New York Film Academy is sending a team of students and instructors from its Los Angeles campus to document portions of the ride, which is the annual kickoff to Scottsdale’s Parada del Sol celebration, the release stated.

This year’s Parada activities include the Parade and Trail’s End community festival Feb. 13 in the downtown and a professional rodeo Feb. 25-28 at WestWorld.

For more information visit Hashknifeponyexpress.com.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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