DENVER — While many people will still keep their Christmas lights up in solidarity, the hundreds of thousands from all over the country who usually flock to the Mile High City for the National Western Stock Show won’t get to see them.
Due to continued risk of COVID-19, the 115th National Western Stock Show was postponed to next year. It would have opened on Saturday, but drone images show that the usually bustling grounds are empty of the cattle and horse trailers that usually invade the complex for 16 days.
>>> Watch the video above for a look at how the lack of stock show this year is impacting 4H students.
This is only the second time the stock show has been canceled in its history. The first time was in 1915, when a “hoof and mouth” disease epidemic prevented livestock from traveling across state lines.
Officials said the stock show typically involves 900 booths and draws 700,000 people each year, bringing $100 million to Denver’s economic and funding 100 scholarships for students majoring in agricultural and rural programs.
Since the main event isn’t happening this year, Stock Show staff are partnering with 16 non-profit programs over the month of January. They will also air pre-tapped programs of the show on their website.
Those nonprofits are: Children’s Hospital Colorado, The Gold Crown Foundation, Project CURE, Eagles Nest Ranch, The Urban Farm, Habitat for Humanity, Temple Grandin Equine Center, Food Bank of the Rockies, Westernaires and several days of clean-up in the Globeville-Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
When the stock show starts again next year, organizers expect that the revamped Stockyards Events Center will be open.
That’s part of a big overhaul of the history National Western Stock Show Complex.
Construction on the center began in 2019, four years after Denver City Council adopted the master plan and Denver residents voted to fund construction. The project is scheduled for completion by 2024, according to the National Western Center website.
As if you’re following the tradition and still keeping your Christmas lights up this year, heads up: the stock show would have ended on Jan. 24.
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