When you ask most longtime Avondale residents about their memories growing up here, many of them will inevitably mention Billy Moore Days – a tradition named after Avondale’s founder, and celebrated for more than five decades in Avondale.
Who was Billy Moore, you ask?
William “Billy” Moore came to Arizona in l867. He eventually made his way to the west banks of the Agua Fria River and established a stage coach station. He added a general store and became the postmaster of the settlement he named Coldwater, which eventually became Avondale in 1946. Billy Moore Days began as an opportunity for Avondale and surrounding communities to celebrate the area’s history, and it is a beloved hometown tradition.
View all the online activities that happen at Billy Moore Day – Virtual Week
Click the button below to view all the following activities:
- MONDAY – Billy Moore Day Virtual Parade
- TUESDAY – Facial Hair Fiasco
- WEDNESDAY – Yee Haw Hollerin Contest
- THURSDAY – Pie Eating Contest
- FRIDAY – Avondale Epic Scavenger Hunt
- SATURDAY – Fire Hose Frenzy
Meet our parade honorees:
Parade Grand Marshal: Julie Giese
The honor of 2020 Billy Moore Days Grand Marshal goes to Julie Giese, who was named the president of Phoenix Raceway (formally ISM Raceway) in 2018 and is the only current female president of a NASCAR track. Giese worked tirelessly alongside the Raceway team on the design and project management renovation and complete modernization overhaul to the internationally known track giving it the status of the best raceway venue in the industry. For the first time, the elite race known as the NASCAR Championship Weekend, comes to Avondale this November.
Parade Honorary Pioneer: Martha Aragon Bodnar
Honorary Pioneer Martha Aragon Bodnar was born July 25,1919 in Shoemaker, New Mexico and celebrates her 100th birthday this year. When Martha was 10 years old she, along with her parents Tomas and Justita Aragon and her twelve siblings, moved to “Coldwater Arizona,” which we know today as Avondale Arizona. The Aragon family is well known for helping establish and develop the Avondale and Goodyear communities, specifically helping build the first Catholic Church in area, Saint John Vianney. Martha and her sister, Lila Schneider, 98, attended Avondale Elementary School and Litchfield High School. Martha cooked and did house cleaning for some of the local rancher families in the community. She was also an employee of the Old Avondale Drug Store (formerly located in old town on Western & Central Avenue) owned by Tony Schneider. Martha married Theodore Bodnar, who passed in 2007, and served in the Army & Civil Service. She is the mother of two children, Mary Anderson and Thomas Bodnar.
Jr. Grand Marshal – Kiri Wooten
Kiri is a vibrant, outgoing, and loving 14-year-old. Kiri was born in California and moved to Avondale in 2015. Kiri is supported by her father Toby and stepmom Rafaela six siblings.
Kiri is currently a sophomore at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona. As a student with Down Syndrome, Kiri embodies a positive, upbeat and can-do attitude. During her freshman year, she took on the role as a leader. Kiri lead the Unified Physical Education class in stretches, games and organized activities. During lunch time, she gathered signatures to stop the spread of the “R-Word” for Special Olympics Arizona and lead Agua Fria to victory during Bocce Ball competition.
In her free time, Kiri enjoys writing in a notebook, jamming on a guitar and playing the keyboard. Kiri’s biggest passion is singing. In early 2020, she sang a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner (It is called “Oh say can you see” if you ask Kiri) for the Unified basketball game in front of the whole school. Kiri also enjoys cheerleading and being involved with as many activities on campus as possible. Her personality and whit are equally matched by her caring disposition and ability to make anyone feel better about a bad day. During Unified Physical Education class or a Special Olympic Arizona event, Kiri can be seen lifting the spirits of others.
Recently, Kiri was diagnosed with Leukemia. Over the past few months, she has been battling tirelessly. Kiri is excited to get back to school and see her friends, teachers and fellow peers. True to Kiri, she remains upbeat, positive and ready to lead.