January in Denver means our coldest weather and “The Stock Show” is in town. It’s a time to remember our western, ranching heritage and hopefully enjoy the first Professional Rodeo of the New Year.
Over 15,000 animals are somehow housed at the huge Coliseum Complex just 3 miles from the heart of downtown Denver. Of course, there are stock shows, live animal auctions and over 300 vendors peddling their wares to cowboys, gentlemen ranchers, locals and tourists alike. There are groomed horses prancing in smaller rings, live stock on display and even a children’s “petting zoo”. Your child might want a ride on a pony or even a camel.
If you haven’t seen it, it is a sight to behold.
It’s a part of Americana and the history of family-owned ranches, real cowboys and old fashioned values. God, Country, hard work, children, horses, hogs, bulls and steers are the heroes here. This short video tells it all!
It’s easy to buy a ticket to the Pro Rodeo and you get a ticket to all other events, displays, shows and auctions included in the price. Or, you get a grounds-only ticket for about $8. This is first PRCA rodeo of the year and cowboys are fresh and starting with a clean slate. So, enthusiasm is high and contagious. The bull riding, in particular, is a huge highlight along with attendant rodeo clowns. They are not just there to amuse the kids. They put their lives on the line to distract bulls when cowboys fall to the ground as they inevitably do.
The Stock Show Parade from the heart of Downtown Denver to the Coliseum Complex at noon tomorrow, January 15. Can you imagine all those bulls, horses, steers and cowboys hoofing through the midst of the Central Business District at mid-day? It is a fabulous sight.
Even if you don’t visit the Stock Show, it’s hard to miss it. Restaurants are crowded with gentlemen in cowboy hats, country and western bars are jammed with real live cowboys rubbing elbows with the urban variety. Car dealerships have sales on pick-up trucks and SUV’s. The flavor of Denver returns to a bygone era. The famous luxurious Brown Palace, built by the unsinkable Molly Brown, is booked far in advance along with cheap, no-frills motels all over town.
There are even fiddle competitions and western poets such as Baxter Black reading their original material. Local western wear stores have sales to lure in both professional cowpokes and tourists alike. It is the one time of year I get to wear my western sport coat, boots and, occasionally, hat anywhere I choose.
The rodeo and stock show run through January 27. Tickets are available.