DENVER — After it was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo (NWSS) is back for 2022.
The 16-day event runs from Saturday, Jan. 8 through Sunday, Jan. 23 at the National Western Complex.
The show attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and includes rodeos, horse shows, mutton bustin’ and many other things to do.
Now in its 116th year, the National Western Stock Show is a nationally recognized Western heritage and entertainment event with one of the world’s richest regular season professional rodeos, one of the country’s largest horse shows and Colorado’s largest agricultural trade show.
It takes place at the Denver Coliseum located at 4600 Humboldt Street. It's right next to Interstate 70, east of Washington Street.
Here’s what you need to know about tickets, parking, schedules, COVID-19 protocols and the downtown parade.
Stock Show tickets
A grounds admission ticket gives you access to everything at the Stock Show except for rodeos and other special events, which require a separate ticket.
Grounds admission includes access to the Yards, the Coors Western Art gallery, hundreds of Western vendors selling wares and food, and events like horse shows, stock dog competitions and mutton bustin’.
The cost of the tickets depends on the day of the week:
- $17-$25 for adults 12+
- $4-5 for children 3-11
- Free for children 2 and under
A guest badge that’s good for grounds admission for all 16 days costs $70.
There will be one free day for ground admissions on Jan. 11.
Tickets are available to buy online or in-person.
Special events that require separate tickets are:
- Colorado vs. the World Rodeo – Saturday, Jan. 8
- Invitational Ranch Rodeo – Saturday, Jan. 8
- Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza – Sunday, Jan. 9
- Freestyle Reining – Sunday, Jan. 9
- Bull Riding – Monday, Jan. 10; Tuesday, Jan. 11, and Wednesday, Jan. 12
- Pro Rodeos – Thursday, Jan. 13; Friday, Jan. 14; Saturday, Jan. 15; Sunday, Jan. 16; Monday, Jan. 17; Tuesday, Jan. 18; Wednesday, Jan. 19; Thursday, Jan. 20; Friday, Jan. 21; Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23
- Gambler’s Choice Jumper Stake – Friday, Jan. 14
- Wild West Shows – Saturday, Jan. 15, and Sunday, Jan. 16
- Xtreme Dogs Shows – Monday, Jan. 17, and Tuesday, Jan. 18
- MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo – Monday, Jan. 17
- Grand Prix – Monday, Jan. 17
- Evening of Dancing Horses – Wednesday, Jan. 19, and Thursday, Jan. 20
- Draft Horse, Mule & Donkey Shows – Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22
How to get there and park
The National Western Complex is bordered by Interstate 70 to the south, Brighton Boulevard to the east and National Western Drive to the west.
Parking near the Stock Show grounds is available on a first-come first-served basis and fills early. All the free lots on the map below are highlighted in yellow.
The Stock Show is encouraging visitors to park at Coors Field lot B and the parking garage and to take free shuttles from the east side of the parking garage to a drop-off at the Denver Coliseum.
Free shuttles service also will run every 10 minutes from the South Box Office to lots F, O, DPS near the Stock Show grounds.
There will be a rideshare drop-off at the front of the Denver Coliseum.
Another option is the RTD Lightrail N-Line that runs with a stop at the National Western Center.
For more on parking, click here.
COVID-19 rules and other policies
The Stock Stock follows City of Denver guidelines in regards to COVID-19. That means visitors and participants must wear a mask in indoor spaces. The mask order doesn’t apply to outdoor areas or to anyone who’s actively eating and drinking.
Proof of vaccination will not be required.
The NWSS website says: “CDPHE and CDC strongly recommend that all people wear a mask in public. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19.”
Other things to know:
- Outside food and drink aren’t allowed, and neither are coolers. Exceptions are made for babies and those with medical conditions.
- No animals other than those being exhibited are allowed, with the exception of service animals.
- Wheelchairs are available free of charge of a first-come, first-served basis and can be checked out at the information booth above the south lobby of the Expo Hall.
- A family restroom and “nursing shed” are on the third-floor Kids Zone.
Where to go, what to do
Here’s where to go for various attractions and events:
- NW Complex Building: Box office, Expo Hall, Hall of Education, Stadium Arena, NW Club, Beef Palace Auction Arena, Junior Barnes
- Events Center: Box office, Cinch Arena, paddock, horse barns
- Coliseum: Rodeo arena, main level concourses
- Yards and Stockyards Event Center: Livestock pens, stock dog show
The horse and livestock shows start at 7 a.m. daily.
Trade show times are:
- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday - Thursday
- 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday
All entrances open by 9 a.m.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Junior Livestock Auction: Thousands of junior market animals compete each year, but only 96 qualify for the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions. 9NEWS broadcasts the live auction of the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion animals, where winning bids have reached as high as $150,000.
Ames Activity Pavilion: This is in the white tent outside, near the South Food Court. Enjoy family-friendly events and show like Old West Cowboy Antics, Folkloric Dancers, Sheep Shearing and a Stick Horse Rodeo.
Coors Western Art Gallery: On the third floor, this gallery celebrates Colorado’s Western heritage and is open each day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Net proceeds benefit the National Western Scholarship Trust.
Petting Farm: On the third floor, kids will love interacting with more than 60 barnyard animals, and it’s free.
Shopping and food: More than 300 vendors sell a variety of products at the NW Complex Building (three levels of shopping and dining), the Events Center and the Coliseum. For more on the vendors and floor plans, click here.
Colorado Fiddle Championships: Jan. 8-9 at the Beef Palace Auction Arena. – UPDATE: This has been postponed, date to be determined.
Mutton Bustin’: This is one of the NWSS’ most popular events and features children ages 5 to 7 and under 55 pounds riding sheep out a shoot and into the arena. Mutton Bustin’ happens during many of the rodeo performances and also on Jan. 16 and 18 in the Stadium Arena.
National Western Stock Show and Rodeo
Stock Show Parade
The Kick-Off Parade that was scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 6 was canceled due to weather, according to Paul Andrews, NWSS CEO and president.
The parade and cattle drive through the streets of downtown Denver was to begin at noon Thursday at Union Station before marching 12 blocks down 17th Street to Glenarm Place.
The Denver metro area was expected to receive 1 to 4 inches of snow beginning Wednesday evening, with a temperature of about zero Thursday morning. Parade organizers canceled the parade over concerns of snow, wind and icy conditions on 17th Street.
The Stock Show Fair, scheduled for Thursday at McGregor Square, was also canceled.
National Western Stock Show Kickoff Parade
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