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Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee announces Jessica Cox as 2023 Grand Marshal

Parade is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23
Jessica Cox Grand Marshal Tuscon Rodeo KGUN 9 On Your Side.jpg
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jan 26, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tucson Rodeo Parade Committee has announced Jessica Cox as its grand marshal for the 2023 Tucson Rodeo Parade.

Native to Sierra Vista, she was born without arms. Cox has inspired many with her perseverance to achieve her pilot license, become the world's first licensed armless pilot. She is also a motivational speaker.

“I’m really feeling honored about this platform as this opportunity to inspire so many," she said Thursday, going on to thank her family and the community in Southern Arizona.

“I've had some incredible people in my life who’ve encouraged me during those days when I had a little self-doubt—because we all have that," she said. "But to have that community of people who are there to encourage me to be the person I am today, and now to be able to give that back to so many children with disabilities, it’s such an honor. It’s a blessing.”


Her father Bill Cox joined the ceremony Thursday afternoon. He shared heartfelt thoughts on her achievements.

“Jessica has just overwhelmed me with all her stability, accomplishments of motivating other people," he said. "And there was nothing sad about her birth, being born without arms.”

Cox gives back through her non-profit Right-Footed International Foundation International. She says five kids from Tucson with limb differences will join her during the rodeo parade.

“To be able to show the world that having a disability doesn’t hold you back from doing some incredible things and bering confident about yourself and being confident about that difference," she said. "So it is gonna be wonderful to have them involved, to see so many people from the float and to be able to do that and show that message that ‘Disability doesn’t mean inability.’”

The Tucson Rodeo Parade is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23.

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Caleb Fernández is a digital content producer for KGUN 9. After earning his bachelor's degree from Penn State in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went to New York where he learned production assistance, photography and art direction. Share your story ideas and important issues with Caleb by emailing caleb.fernandez@kgun9.com or by connecting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.