The Cowtown Rodeo at 780 Harding Highway in Pilesgrove, New Jersey, is the longest-running weekly rodeo in the nation. Dating back to 1929, it’s an event that has been going on long enough to be organized to a fine art.
In the past, Cowtown Rodeo has run every Saturday night in late May through late September. Over this time, this action-packed event attracts campers, tailgaters, picnickers, and those who want a taste of the rodeo cowboy lifestyle.
Cowtown Rodeo is also the only professional weekly rodeo in New Jersey and highlights old west traditions that formed an integral part of American history. Even the old-style wooden bleachers provide an insight into culture from days gone by.
Park your RV in the grass parking lot against the back fence, set up your campsite, and prepare yourself for a night of action. You can then wander over to the nearby townships of Sharptown and Woodstown to check out what else the area has to offer. Pay a visit to the Marlton Recreation Park, Pratt Gardens, or do a bit of shopping. Plenty of action and adventure awaits when you begin an RV road trip through New Jersey.
There is a range of different ticket options to suit individuals, groups, and early birds. You can buy them at the rodeo’s ticket booth, at local Pilesgrove businesses, or online. You can also purchase box seats, season tickets, group tickets, and individual passes for adults, children, and military members. Visit Cowtown Rodeo’s website for updated schedules and more information.
Between May and September, weather conditions in New Jersey remain reasonably steady. There is often no cause for concern if you are thinking about going on a road trip during this time. However, to be on the safe side, you can make use of a New Jersey travel app such as 511NJ to remain up to date with construction, congestion, and any adverse weather that could be on its way.
Once you reach Pilesgrove, you’ll find Cowtown Rodeo at 780 Harding Highway, or US Route 40, around eight miles east of Delaware Memorial Bridge that runs along I-285. With cowboy and cow statues lining the entrance to the venue, you’re not likely to miss it.
In the past, all parking spots for vehicles of all shapes and sizes have been free. Cowtown Rodeo’s parking lot is expansive, and there’s room for RVs, tailgaters, picnickers, and even big rigs to stay overnight. You’re unlikely to have any problems choosing the best site to suit your RV’s requirements. If you prefer to remain off-site and drive to the event, day parking is in the same as night parking for convenience.
While Cowtown Rodeo provides parking for large buses and groups, there aren’t any established public transportation providers to get you to and from Cowtown Rodeo. Fortunately, due to the easy overnight parking options, you won’t have any hassles with trying to park your RV. If you would prefer to leave your RV at your campsite, a private ride service may be an option.
Dry camping is available at Cowtown Rodeo, much to the delight of many RV travelers. You can make your way directly into the expansive rodeo parking lot and set up camp along the fence of the grassy parking lot. There are no service hookups, and pets aren’t allowed, but you’re welcome to use your generator. Make sure you pick up all your trash before you leave, and opt for beverages in plastic and aluminum rather than glass.
If you don’t fancy a dry camping situation, then there are nearby RV-friendly accommodation providers to cater to your needs. There’s a campground within seven miles of the rodeo, and another handful within 15 miles of the event site as well. Make sure you book in advance to better your chances of securing your first pick.
The best way to get around Cowtown Rodeo is on foot. The conservative size of the rodeo site and volume of people who attend make it a little tricky to whizz around on a scooter or skateboard. Pop these back in your RV for use once the rodeo is over.
Cowtown Rodeo is between May and September, a typically mild time of year. However, even if the days are warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, the nights won’t be. Temperatures can drop to low 60s at night, which calls for a thick layer or two. It also wouldn’t hurt to pack a pair of gloves, a warm hat, and thick socks. Pack your suitcase for all eventualities so that you can remain comfortable throughout the day and night.
To catch all the action, you’ll be sitting in a bleacher-style setting with hundreds of other visitors. Because of the cramped environment, pack light. Bring a small cooler with a bite to eat and a cold beverage. Leave any glass bottles behind and only bring what can fit into a milk crate. Onsite vendors only accept cash, so withdraw as much as you need before you hit the road.
Before you leave home, make sure you bring everything with you that would be hard to replace at a moment’s notice. A first aid kit, plenty of drinking water, toiletries, and medical supplies could all come in handy when you least expect it. Cowtown Rodeo also has a few recommendations of its own. They sell nuts and are not a nut-free zone; if you’re allergic, make sure you bring medication as rodeo organizers do not carry extensive medical equipment. Smoking is also prohibited in the bleachers.
Even though Cowtown Rodeo has an extensive range of food options, there’s no harm in making a light snack once you return to your RV. You’re more than welcome to use your onboard RV appliances. If you run low on a few supplies, there’s a gas station nearby which is usually open late. Alternatively, there are markets and convenience stores in nearby Woodstown.
While the closest township to Cowtown Rodeo, Sharptown, doesn’t offer much in the way of restaurants, Woodstown does. Around three miles from the rodeo is a range of family-friendly eateries to appeal to all. The area connecting State Route 45 and US Route 40 is home to both private and chain restaurants that are bound to satisfy your hunger pangs. If you intend on visiting late once the rodeo has finished, many are open late with varied hours.
There are plenty of delicious snacks available for sale at Cowtown Rodeo. From nuts and cotton candy through to popcorn and ice cream, what more could you want on a lovely evening at the rodeo? There is also a pre-rodeo buffet that requires a reservation. Remember, food vendors only accept cash. If you want to do any shopping, the gift shop sells boots, hats, and more, and takes cash and credit.
As you make your way from your RV in the parking lot to the rodeo action, don’t forget to lock it. You are responsible for the safety of your possessions. Security officials may also ask to check your bags and check to see that your cooler fits inside their milk crate showing the allowed size dimensions. Don’t forget to put on a friendly smile for those who make Cowtown Rodeo as safe as possible.
Weather conditions can vary from when the rodeo begins in May until it ends in the final days of September. Pay attention to weather apps before you travel so you know whether you need to batten down the hatches or get the sunscreen out. Cowtown Rodeo is a rain or shine event, which means there is minimal chance of cancellation.
Cowtown Rodeo officials carry the bare basics for scratches, cuts, and bruises. If you require assistance, approach an official who can point you in the right direction of first aid assistance. If you need immediate aid, dial 9-11. The nearest medical center is around seven miles away from the event site in Salem.