The National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver
Called the “Super Bowl of Cattle Shows,” the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is a Denver tradition, honoring the country's rich Old West heritage. Held every January at the National Western Complex, it is the world’s largest stock show, and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, rodeo performances, Mexican rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry. Don’t miss out on this “only-in-Denver” event, celebrating its 107th year in 2013, January 12-27.
The Stock Show’s history stretches back to the early days of the 20th century, with the inaugural event taking place in 1906. It was a big hit from the very beginning -- attendance was estimated at 15,000 with stockmen visiting from Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago and some eastern cities. By 1909, the Stock Show was attracting in excess of 100,000 spectators. In 2008, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo recorded the event’s biggest opening-day in history with an attendance of 44,616 and the biggest single-day attendance on January 19 with 68,610. Previous records for opening-day and single day attendance were 41,637 set in 2006 and 68,357 set in 1999, respectively.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo Parade
Downtown Denver, along 17th St.
See the once-a-year spectacle of a herd of Texas Longhorn cattle being driven through downtown Denver! Beginning at Union Station and meandering down 17th Street, the parade also features marching bands, floats, horseback riders and performing cowgirls and cowboys.
Bulls and broncs, cowboys and cowgirls – rodeo’s biggest superstars perform amazing feats of athleticism during each performance of professional rodeo. Events take place throughout the Stock Show. Full Schedule
Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza
Jan. 13, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m
An event filled with cultural pageantry, the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza features bull riders and bareback riders, trick roping, mariachi and the daring Paso de la Muerte or “Death Jump.”
An Evening of Dancing Horses
Jan. 23-124, 7:30 p.m.
Designed to thrill even the most discriminating horse enthusiast, An Evening of Dancing Horses is packed full of dressage, freestyle reining, drill elements and plenty more equestrian disciplines. Plus, it’s all choreographed to the music of the Denver Brass.
Wild West Show
Jan. 19, 5 p.m., Jan. 20, 4 p.m.
See how the West was won when Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane ride into the Events Center during two Wild West Shows. Patterned after the great Buffalo Bill shows of yesteryear, the show features features nonstop action including a six-horse stagecoach holdup, dance hall girls and a moving tribute to the American Indian.
Martin Luther King, Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo
Black cowboys and cowgirls headline the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo's Martin Luther King, Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo. Champion black rodeo athletes compete in the Pony Express relay, ladies’ steer undecorating and more traditional rodeo events.
All events take place at the National Western Complex, unless otherwise noted.