The 10 Rodeos Every Rodeo Fan Should Visit
Are you a rodeo fan looking to plan a vacation? Why not pick one of these 10 places and visit during their rodeo? You'll find information below about the ten rodeos every rodeo fan should see. These are some of the biggest rodeos where you'll find top contestants and great rodeo action.
I've included websites for each rodeo. If you decide to plan a trip to visit; be sure and check the website for ticket information and the exact rodeo dates. All of these have other festivities, and sometimes the festivities may start before the actual rodeo.
Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
Las Vegas, Nevada
Next Rodeo Dates: December 2-11, 2010
The NFR is the rodeo to go to if you can only make one of these rodeos. It is like the Super Bowl, or World Series, it is where the Champions are crowned. The NFR fills Las Vegas with Cowboys, and pretty soon Sin City is Cowboy Town. There is shopping, fantastic concerts, autograph sessions with your favorite cowboys and cowgirls. Miss Rodeo America is crowned during this event. Get out your calendar and put down the dates for this rodeo now.
Fun NFR Facts:
- The National Finals Rodeo was originally in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- The NFR moved to Las Vegas in 1985.
- Cowboy Christmas hosts over 400 vendors for all your Western Shopping needs.
- Also visit Country Christmas, and be sure to stop by and say "hi" to my good friends at Luan's Leathers.
- Luan's Leathers
Custom horse tack, Purses, Belts, Spur Straps, Dog Collars, Nosebands and Halters.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Next Rodeo Dates: July 20-Aug 1, 2010
The Cheyenne Frontier Days has the CFD Old West Museum, a Western Art show, and more. Be sure and take the "Behind the Chutes" Tour, which is a 40 minute tour that provides a behind the scenes look at Cheyenne Frontier Days. There is a carnival, concerts, a parade and plenty of events that will bring you back to the Old West!
Fun Cheyenne Frontier Days Facts:
- Cheyenne Frontier Days has won the Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year eleven times. They've won this award in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
- Last year 550,000 fans came from all over the world to watch the Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Next Rodeo Dates: July 9-18, 2010
The Calgary Stampede is a great excuse to head to Canada every July. It has the rodeo of course, and Chuck-wagon races, The Grandstand Show featuring all kinds of talent, an Agricultural Showcase, Parades, Rides and Games, and Music. The whole town is encouraged to "dress western" for the stampede, and businesses that are selected will receive a special plaque for their efforts.
Be sure and check out the Calgary Stampede website. There are games available to play and you can also put your face, or a friend's face on a wanted poster. Click here to follow a link to make a "Wanted" Poster.
Fun Calgary Stampede Facts
- During the Calgary Stampede passengers landing at the Calgary airport receive a stampede greeting, an invitation to the event, and information on the events and music.
- The Stampede began in 1912 by Guy Weadick. He created the "Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest" which later became the Calgary Stampede.
National Denver Stock Show
Next Rodeo Dates: January 8-23, 2011
The National Denver Stock Show advertise on their website "Find your Western Spirit". There are plenty of ways for you to find your western spirit while visiting this rodeo. The rodeo and stock show have everything from a Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza to a Sheep Shearing Contest. They have plenty of activities for children, and a lot of these activities aim to teach children about the western lifestyle in order to preserve it. There is also shopping, art shows, music, and more.
Fun National Denver Stock Show Facts:
- Have you always wanted to watch the Super Bowl of all Cattle Shows? Denver hosts the world's largest Cattle Show.
- Has won the PRCA "Indoor Rodeo of the Year".
Pendleton Round Up
Next Rodeo Dates: September 11-18, 2010
The Pendleton Round Up brings together traditions of Cowboys and Indians during their event. You can watch the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant, concerts, parades, barbecue, and of course rodeo.
Be sure to visit the Pendleton Round Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame, which is located across the street from the Round Up grounds. It is open Monday through Saturday 10am-4pm.
Pendleton Round Up Facts:
- From 1963-1999 Barrel Racing was not included at the Pendelton Round Up due to safety conditions. Because of the layout of the round-up grounds, this race is conducted on grass, with the barrels situated on the dirt track surrounding the arena. It is larger then the standard barrel pattern.
- The first show of the Pendleton Round Up was on September 29, 1910, and they had the largest crowd in Pendleton's history, of 7000 people.
Dodge National Circuit Finals
Next Rodeo Dates: April 7-10, 2010
Pro Rodeo is divided by 12 different rodeo circuits. When cowboys and cowgirls compete at rodeos in their own circuit they receive points. At the end of the year they hold circuit finals. At the finals the contestants with the most points from the year in each event, and the winners at circuit finals in each event qualify to compete in the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo. This rodeo in Pocatello is all of the top circuit cowboys and cowgirls competing.
During the DNCFR they have mutton busting, Smokey & the American Cowboy, The Coors Golf Tournament, a Window Decorating Contest, the Cowboy Expo and Trade Show, a Pancake Breakfast, a Performance Horse Sale, and an Exceptional Kids Rodeo.
Fun DNCFR Facts:
- The 1st rodeo held in Pocatello was called "the victory" rodeo. It was in 1943 during World War II.
- The 1st DNCFR was in 1987, and this year is it's 24th anniversary.
Next Rodeo Dates: June 17-26, 2010
The Reno Rodeo begins with a Cattle Drive! Click here for a map of the Cattle Drive with suggestions of good places to watch. The Reno Rodeo also has a Golf Tournament, Shopping, a Carnival, and other horse events to watch.
Fun Reno Rodeo Facts:
- The Reno Rodeo is the world's 4th richest PRCA tour rodeo.
- In 1986 the Reno Rodeo established the Reno Rodeo Foundation as the giving arm of the Reno Rodeo and has since donated over $5.1 million to educational scholarships, special children's charities, and more.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Next Rodeo Dates: March 1-20, 2011
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a big deal. There are horse shows, livestock shows, music, and of course the rodeo. There are plenty of activities for children and adults making this a family friendly event.
Don't forget to check out the Star Trail of Fame. This is an area outside of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo offices. It pays tribute to entertainers who've made an impact in the show. The gold plaques currently honor seven stars; Gene Autry, Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Elvis Presley, Charley Pride, Roy Rogers, and George Strait.
Still need a reason to go? Cowgirls, did I mention there is a giant one of a kind western shopping mall set up during the event? Yes, I said shopping. Also, did I mention the Chuck-wagon cooking, and Bar-B-Que competition?
Fun RodeoHouston facts:
- In 2008, RodeoHouston was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
- In 2008, contestants at RodeoHouston competed towards a total rodeo purse of more than $1.3 million.
- Reliant Stadium, the home of RodeoHouston, was built specifically for rodeo and football.
- In 2010, RodeoHouston hit a record of 2 Million fans for general attendance.
World's Oldest Rodeo
Next Rodeo Dates: June 28-July 4, 2010
Prescott is a town full of Western roots. It is a mecca for Western Artists and hosts the World's Oldest Rodeo. During the rodeo you'll find a parade, dances, a golf tournament, and a fine arts and craft show. This is a great place to watch the rodeo in a town that still treasures old-west living.
Fun World's Oldest Rodeo Facts:
- The first rodeo held in Prescott was July 4, 1888.
- This rodeo donates. Prescott Frontier Days®, Inc. has been able to donate thousands of dollars in past years to organizations such as: the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, and many more.
Next Rodeo Dates: September 3-6, 2010
The Ellensburg rodeo takes place during the Kittitas County Fair. You'll have rodeo action surrounded by the fair. There's also a parade, and Miss Rodeo Washington gets crowned during this exciting event. Don't forget to check out the Yakama Nation Indian Village and the Western Village, which are open every day during the rodeo. Ellensburg is a town with a great Western feel, and this rodeo is one everyone should see.
Fun Ellensburg Rodeo Facts:
- The first Ellensburg Rode was in 1923.
- Over 500 contestants will compete for over $300,000 in prize money.
You may also want to read:
- Chris LeDoux, a True Cowboy Hero
When most people think of a cowboy hero, they immediately think of John Wayne, or another star of old western movies. Even though the sun may have set on the...