DENVER — As much as the National Western Stock Show is about livestock and animals, it's also about education and teaching people about different cultures. Sunday night, thousands of people came together to watch the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza.
Like years past, the event featured Mexican-style bull riding, bareback riding, trick roping, Mariachi music, side saddle riders and Portuguese-style bullfights.
Gerardo Diaz, a fourth-generation champion charro, choreographed the whole show.
"What National Western is all about is for the education, for our children, for tomorrow," Diaz said. "What makes me really happy is when I make people cheer and smile and laugh and have a good time."
In the stands, people like Joel Orozco Almeida watch the charros tame the bucking horses.
"For me, it’s my Mexican culture," Orozco Almeida said. "I think representation matters. For me, to be able to see myself represented in spaces like this in the United States, that’s very important."
Culture is taught young at the National Western Stock Show. As the final preparations were made for the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza Sunday night, a group of a dozen 3 to 6-year-old girls practiced for their performance in a back tunnel.
"Everything that we do on the real horses, they do on their stick horses. I’m teaching them about all the rules of escaramuza since they’re babies," said Brenda Aguilera, who started Escaramuzitas Adelitas de Colorado. "My purpose for this team is that the younger generation learn about their culture, about our national sport."
Escaramuza is a Mexican sport where people ride sidesaddle on horses. Aguilera is teaching the next generation what they can do.
"This is my legacy, pretty much," Aguilera said. "We live here in the United States. It’s a little harder to learn about our culture and traditions. So for me it’s a huge deal to teach the generation coming up about our traditions and our cultures."
The National Western Stock Show is just getting started and continues through Jan. 22. While the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza is over, pro bull riding starts up soon, along with many other events.
>Video below: Watch a replay of the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza
9NEWS is a corporate partner of the National Western Stock Show.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Latest from 9NEWS