Get your ten-gallon hats and six-shooters ready because the National Western Stock Show is one heck of a rodeo. Since 1906 this staple of Colorado life has been showing off some of the best in western heritage with every year getting better than the last. This sixteen-day event brings in hundreds of thousands of attendees where they are able to watch and participate in a plethora of events. Eat delicious food at the BBQ contest, watch the kick-off parade, and listen to some of the best in fiddling with the Colorado Fiddle Championships.
There are plenty of campgrounds in the greater Denver area making the National Western Stock Show a great stop. The Trade Show that is on site brings in over 300 vendors from around the country selling everything from jewelry to agricultural equipment.
This nationally recognized heritage and entertainment event is also a charitable organization. Since its inception, it has channeled millions to agricultural education in the form of scholarships and community engagement.
General grounds admission is roughly divided into three categories based on age, with additional price adjustments depending on the day. Adults ages 12 or older will pay anywhere from $10 to $22. Tickets for children 3 to 11 hover around $4, while anyone younger usually gets in for free.
Group package deals are available with tickets, great seating, and other personalized services. Premium seating is available for an additional cost, along with season passes that ensure you can get into the best events year round. For specific deals and pricing look over the National Western Stock Show official website.
The complex is located just east of Interstate 25. With most people taking either the Brighton Blvd. or Coliseum exits. If you are coming from the east and find yourself passing the South Platte River, then you've gone too far. Oddly enough, National Western Drive is often not the best road to take once off the highway, with 46th and 47th Avenues getting you closer to the grounds.
Parking at the National Western Stock Show is free with lots located throughout the grounds in multiple locations. Parking for people with disabilities is near the Expo Hall and Events Center, along with some around the Coliseum. The stock show brings an especially busy set of weekends, so overflow parking is also available near Coors Field.
Buses to the National Western grounds are available and typically drop people off at the east end of the Events Center. Complimentary shuttling services are provided at designated intervals, connecting the farther off lots directly to the grounds. Private services have an official drop-off near the food court, just outside the Hall of Education.
Because of the limited space on the premises, the National Western Stock Show is not outfitted with RV camping options. Thankfully, there are many great options located in the Denver area.
There are several RV campgrounds in the City of Denver with many of them around a 15 to 25-minute drive from the National Western premises. Each campground can offer something different in terms of hookups, with most of the basics like electric, water, and sewer covered. Additional facilities and features can include free WiFi, community centers, laundromats, and much more. Note that some locations accept reservations and others in the area offer first-come, first-served campsites. Getting back to the stock show is just a matter of taking one of the two primary interstates that criss-cross through the city.
The National Western grounds consist of numerous buildings and lots. Maneuvering through the grounds can be a bit tricky, especially during the weekend. Because of this, a shuttle service has been introduced for the farthest parking lots. Personal vehicles like carts, bikes, and skateboards are not permitted on the grounds. Rental scooters and wheelchairs are available for reservation.
This event takes place during the coldest month of the year in an already chilly area, so you're going to want to pack with warmth in mind. This should include layers that can be peeled away when you go inside. Nighttime temperatures will often plummet below freezing so invest in gloves and head warmers before arriving in the area.
What you bring is dependent on what campground you are staying at and for how long. Make sure to at least have RV camp necessities like leveling blocks, cooking supplies, and food staples. At the National Western Stock Show, vendors have debit and credit card support, but having some cash on hand is a good idea if you want to buy something quick like a drink or food.
While the grounds are vast and the weather cold and often snowy, the majority of the events are located inside. Make sure you have everything you need to stay comfortable throughout your entire stay. Basic things like toothbrushes, soap, and razors, along with your specific needs like medication, glasses, and hair ties can help keep your trip hassle-free.
Make sure to check with your campground if they support gas or charcoal cooking. If you intend on staying a while in the area, make sure you are outfitted with a variety of cooking supplies like pots, bowls, can openers, and canned or dry items. Dozens of markets and grocery stores are located throughout the city in case you run out of any of the staples. However, you may want to stay stocked up in case a winter storm brings you some snow.
The National Western grounds has plenty of restaurants on site ranging from Italian, barbecue, and steakhouses. If you would like to venture out and explore the Denver area, there are numerous local and chain choices throughout Denver like bistros, saloons, and delis. Downtown Denver offers travelers a chance to try something unexpected with plenty of warm indoor places to enjoy a meal together.
The National Western Stock Show is such a big event that it attracts a flurry of vendors local and far to its grounds. With over 300 vendors, you can say there is a little bit of everything here. This includes businesses that specialize in art, automotive, clothing, cookware, fashion, tools, animal supplies, and toys.
Like any large event, patrons might be subject to a basic search of their belongings upon entry to the National Western Stock Show. Be sure to read up on both event rules and local laws when planning what to carry to the event, from bottles and cans to drones and sidearms. Make sure before you leave your campgrounds that everything is locked up.
Below freezing temperatures are quite common in Colorado in January. While the chance of hypothermia and other cold-related debilitations are rare, it is best to take proper precautions, especially if you're going to go to one of the special events located outside. This means bundling up, consuming warm foods, and using hand warmers.
First aid stations are located on the ground level of the Expo Hall, Events Center, and Coliseum. Personnel on site will be able to direct you toward any of these locations. If you encounter an emergency, call 911 as this may be the fastest source of help. Some circumstances may mean that guests will be taken to one of the many hospitals in the Denver area.