Over 100 years of the Western Stock Show
Saddle up to this timeless tradition
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 02:01
From Texas to Wyoming, many towns claim to be the first ever to host a rodeo. However, here in Colorado many locals are firm believers that Deer Trail, Colorado is the true holder of that title, with its first rodeo being held over a century ago on July 4, 1869.
Keeping up the tradition, Denver is once again hosting the 107-year-old National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, with the event bigger than ever. As the world’s largest stock show, it has over 15,000 animals, tons of unique rodeos, bull riding, livestock competitions, and more than enough Wild West memorabilia to make you feel like you stepped in bullshit before you bought your overpriced alligator boots.
While playing dress up by busting out your best cowhand outfit is optional, expect to see a lot of suburban dads and soccer moms strutting their stuff while herding their young, and answering questions about the pungent smells in the air. All joking aside, the two-week-long event is unequivocally family oriented and those with kids can expect affordable entry for their young up to age 11.
As for everyone else, particularly college students, it can get a bit pricey. You have to pay for seating in accordance to the rodeo event for that day, in addition to the general admission price. Depending on your seats, that can run you between $14–60.
Nevertheless, dressage, mechanical bulls, wood carving, dog trials, sheep leading competitions, western art, and the ever popular heifer sales are all events included in grounds admission. There are picture opportunities galore, and a touch of history to make it great for tourists, too.
The stock show runs from Jan. 12–27 and is located at the National Western Complex and the Denver Coliseum. General admission pricing depends on the date but ranges from $8-$19. The weekdays are the cheapest, and professional rodeos will continue until the last day.
The parking is free, but also an utter hassle, so it’s nice to know the RTD bus 48 serves the area and can make life a little easier on the urban cowboy. Despite the clashing of old traditions and new corporate agri-business, it all culminates to a unique event that can only be experienced here in Denver.