The West lives on.
Every year, Colorado channels its inner cowboy and cowgirl in time for the annual National Western Stock Show.
The nonprofit event spans 16 days in January, proudly boasting the state’s biggest Western trade show, one of the world’s most popular, respected, annual professional rodeos and what organizers call the Super Bowl of livestock shows.
The first stock show in Denver dates back to 1906.
Mid-January, we are now at the height of the stock show. Thinking about checking it out, whether you’re visiting Denver, driving through or looking for an interesting staycation inspiration?
Here are a few insider tips on how to get the most out of the stock show — and a few things you definitely don’t want to miss.
1. Shuttle, don’t park.
Parking has long been a problem for this busy event, especially during the more popular activities. Instead of circling the lot, head directly to overflow parking at Coors Field (27th and Blake streets) and take the shuttle. It runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and will save you a lot of time and stress. The overflow parking is offered during the busiest hours.
2. Get a deal on hotels.
A handful of local hotels are offering special stock show deals. Know where to go and you can save good money — assuming you can still find a room. Rates at the Residence Inn in Denver run from $149 to $199.
For cheaper rates, you’ll have to drive, like the TownPlace Suites by Marriott in Golden, where rates start at $94 a night.
That being said, even if you're not attending the stock show, these two weeks can be a tough time of year to find a top-choice hotel room in Denver. It's best to plan ahead.
3. Get in for free.
The stock show is offering free grounds admission on Tuesday, Jan. 19. This can save you up to $19 for adults and kids 12 and older. The northwest box office has these free tickets, so if you wanted to pick a day to pop into the action, Tuesday is your no-risk choice.
Grounds admission includes a long list of free activities, including the popular Mutton Bustin’, where kids ride sheep and try to stay on as long as they can. It’s not quite a buckin’ bronco, but it’s twice as adorable.
Can’t swing it on Tuesday? Sunday, Jan. 24 is Fan Appreciation Day, where visitors can score discounted rates on grounds admission: $10 for adults, $3 for kids ages 3 to 11 and kids 2 and under get in for free.
4. Don't miss these events.
The Pro Rodeo event, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22 at the Denver Coliseum, is always a highlight.
Horse-lovers will be awed by the two Dancing Horses shows, choreographed horse-and-rider routines to beautiful music. For the best view, opt for a suite seat, located directly on the dirt with free Pepsi beverages.
The stock show is great for families. Kids can get up close and personal to more than 60 farm animals at the inexpensive petting zoo on the third floor, or even ride a pony themselves.
For a totally unique crowd-pleaser, head to the Top Hogs show, where pigs take center stage to perform tricks, like riding a skateboard.