History of the Lost Dutchman Days

A small 3-inch announcement in the November 27, 1964 issue of the Apache Sentinel, the Chamber of Commerce announced to the citizens of Apache Junction that the very first Lost Dutchman Days was coming , and will be held on January 23.

That is how it started and the first Lost Dutchman Day was just that, a one day event. C A Rodgers was in charge of the pancake breakfast. Lloyd Larsen was in charge of the art show. Jack Weaver headed up the carnival committee, and Ken Miller was the honcho of the “Horse Picnic”. The Jaycees pitched in and had a barbeque, and Jeanette Lake was in charge of the dance that finished that first Lost Dutchman Day.

A lot of people have a mistaken idea that Lost Dutchman Days is the evolved form of Burro Derby, an event that was started back in 1958 by the Apache Junction Lions Club. But today’s Lost Dutchman Days celebration is a combination of many fabulous events including aspects of the annual Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo and Parade. The Rodeo, Parade and a Queen contest were held in February and sometimes March.

It wasn’t until 1971 that the three things came together and Lost Dutchman Days, as most people know it today, came together and was actually born.

From that one day celebration in 1965, Lost Dutchman Days has grown into a major-premier event with a core three-day schedule of associated events that attract 30,000 spectators.

Over the years, many evolvements have taken place, various Arenas utilized for the Rodeo, different streets became the Parade route, and various locations for the Rodeo Dance were always moving. The main stable factor remained, promoting our great City and providing quality entertainment and fun for all ages. With the assistance of so many volunteers, Organizations and our City, Lost Dutchman Days has grown over the years, far surpassing the Founders dreams back in 1964.

About the Committee

The Lost Dutchman Days Committee is a partnership made up of two primary entities. Superstition Mountain Promotional Corp. and AJ Mounted Rangers. Both non-profit organizations are membership based and carry IRS 501-C classification.

The Committee involves many Organizations taking the role in a variety of operations, involving their members and volunteers. This concept provides the manpower and input of many to plan and promote this event to make it rewarding, and successful for the Apache Junction Community as a whole.

Proceeds from the event are put back into the Community by donations to those Youth serving Organizations that make Lost Dutchman Days a success and fulfilling our purpose of "Putting Smiles on Kid’s faces."

Committee Members

General Chairman
Denny Walter

Chute Boss
Sam Buckingham

Finance Committee
Bob Clark (AJ Mounted Rangers)
Patti Gille (SMPC)
Vicki Petrosky (SMPC)
Rich Sterba, Captain (AJ Mounted Rangers)
Debbie Russell
Sandie Russell

Rich Sterba, Captain (AJ Mounted Rangers)
Mike Quirk - 1st Lt. (AJ Mounted Rangers)

LDD Rodeo Royalty Coordinator
Heidi Erickson

Rocky Govert (SMPC)
Renee Mullender

Dave Coker (SMPC)

(AJ Chamber of Commerce)

Dena Olson (AJ Chamber of Commerce)
Judy Daniels (AJ Chamber of Commerce)

Krysta Paffrath (SMPC Board Member)
Stacey Lorton (SMPC)

Rodney Wayne Goats

Raffle Sales
Robin Williams (SMPC)

Beer Sales
Michael Cowan (Apache Junction Rotary Club)

Dan Armstrong (AJ Little League)

General Admissions Gate
Don Van Driel (AJ Boys & Girls Club)

Rodeo Ticket Gates
Julie Hewitt (Eagles Ladies Auxillary)
Jeanine Marler (4H)
Beth Villa (4H)

Cowboy Cook Shack
Sherry Coker (AJ High School Boosters Club)

Event Cleanup
Apache Junction Little League
Dan Armstrong (AJ Little League)
Tia Coleman
Teresa Myers (Kids on Kritters)

Rodeo Dance Gate
Jessica Hewitt

Brat Party
Patti Gille (SMPC)
Tom Kain (AJ Elks Lodge #2349)

Golf Tournament
Tom Kain

Official LDD Program
Tina Pendexter (AJ Independent Newspapers)
Richard Dyer (AJ Independent Newspapers)

Facility Operations
Dave Butler (City of AJ- Parks & Recreation Dept.)

Finance Operations
Vicki Petrosky (SMPC)

Tough Enough to Wear Pink Program
Judy Lisota (SMPC)
Jane Walter (SMPC)

LDD Event has very high ratings with Event followers, like Shows West, but more so is the repeat vendors that return because it has proven fun and lucrative for them. The event continues to improve and estimates show that 30,000 plus attend this Event annually. You too can be a part of this opportunity to showcase your wares and add a proven venue to your schedule of places that provide ample opportunity for financial success.


Booth fees are $175 for a 15'x15' space. Vendors must stay all three days and provide their own materials (i.e. tables, chairs, canopy, etc.).

Please provide the information requested below via E-Mail or phone.

Renee Mullender, Vendor Manager
CELL: 602-818-9242
Email: lddvendor@gmail.com

Business Name:
Contact Name:
Mailing Address:
Phone Number:
E-mail Address:
Type of Products or Information to be Displayed or Sold:

Please e-mail for the quickest response. Thank you for your interest in the 2018 Lost Dutchman Days .


Drop off or Mail back to the address on the application along with a check payable to the appropriate payee. Applications are due February 9, 2018. Applications will be accepted until February 20th but will be subject to a $25.00 increase.

2018 Banner Goldfield Lost Dutchman Days Parade Application Entry, Fees and Policy Form.


Arts & Crafts is a separate event from the rodeo. Please fill out form and mail back to the address on the application along with a check payable to the appropriate payee. Deadline for Arts & Crafts Applications must be submitted no later than February 23, 2018.

City Vendor Forms will be addressed as Arts and Crafts forms are submitted.

2018 Arts & Crafts Application - Select Here.


When form has been completed, mail back to the address on the document along with a check payable to the appropriate payee. Deadline is January 6, 2018.

2018 Lost Dutchman Days Rodeo Royalty Pageant Application Packet - Select Here.

2018 Queen Competition Pageant Schedule Packet - Select Here.