Different types of entertainment that baby boomers would enjoy.

Denver–National Western Stock Show

Lisa Niday - Saturday, January 15, 2011

For the ranchers and farmers and their children the stock show was "never miss" occasion. I have heard my Mom talk about her grandparents making the trek from Texas to Denver to attend the National Western Stock Show. After all the stock show is 105 years old so it's possible many of you have heard these kinds of stories.

photo National Western Stock Show

Photo from 1900 at the National Western Stock Show.

To those in the farming and ranching industries it still is a life blood, but how does it relate to us "city folk"? I spent a year living in the country, growing a large garden and raising chickens to buy a new 10 speed (that should date me). At the time I wasn't impressed with the lifestyle but my brothers were. They thought it was the best place we ever lived.
photo of National Western Stock Show
The stockyards, seen here in 1976, were the destination for adventurous young men who traveled to the National Western in rail cars with their livestock.

About 640,00 visitors attended the stock show last year and with over 15,000 head of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llams, alpacas, bison, yak, poultry and rabbits how can you miss finding something to enjoy?
photo of National Western Stock Show

For the Kids

Now I'm older and more mature, I have lived most of my life in the suburbs or smaller communities but still in a city. I grow a garden each year, which gets bigger each year as the price of groceries goes up. Now there are time I really long to live in the country and for what I envision as a "simpler" life.
photo of National Western Stock Show
My grandson, David Michael enjoyed the experience of feeding the goats.

So this year I decided to take my daughter and family (3 grandsons) to the National Western. I felt it was important for city children to really be able to see and touch the animals. The boys loved the petting zoo, but I wanted them to see another lifestyle altogether. I took them down on the floor where the pigs, goats and cows were being shown, judged and auctioned.

I wanted them to see there are still kids who live on farms and ranches and part of their lives is raising these animals, grooming, showing, feeding and eventually selling them. I wanted them to see their are clubs like 4-H where kids congregate and compete. They really found enjoyed this and I wanted them to see another side of life. My grandsons are active in cub and boy scouts so they know the outdoors, but this was another side of life they needed to see. Children need to see this is how the food starts not in your local grocery store.
photo at National Western Stock Show
Wyatt, another of my grandsons, found out that when you have food the goats come calling.

It's a shame to think that kids and some adults think there food sources are the grocery store. I think kids should be exposed to lots of experiences so they can become well rounded and choose their life course from a great number of experiences. I also think this leads to children becoming "diversified". By this I mean that it's just important for them to get some country life experiences as learning about other cultures.
photo at National Western Stock Show
Codee, another grandson, had fun not only feeding but just petting the goats.

What else is there to see and do?

It is the largest trade show in the Denver area with over 350 vendors and 100 acres of show grounds you can find all types of products. I typically always walk through the booths. You can be exposed to a wide range of things, from Anasazi beans grown right here in Colorado to the latest in greatest in stainless steel cookware and iron steamers jewelry, clothing and fine art. Now if just like to shop, you will find all kinds of wares, including western lifestyle and clothes, dog sweaters and the very best of Carhart. So this is a shopping experience both men and women can enjoy.

What about entertainment?

The National Western hosts 42 ticketed performances. Among these are 2 Mexican Rodeo Extravaganzas, 3 PBR Chute Outs, 23 PRCA Rodeos, the Martin Luther King Jr African-American Heritage Rodeo, the Gambler's Choice Open Jumping Stake, two Wild West shows, the Dodge Freestyle Reining, the Grand Prix show jumping, two SuperDogs shows, 2 performances of An Evening of Dancing Horses and four National Western Draft Horse and Mule Shows.

We went on the final night of PBR Touring Pro and it was the first experience my daughter and family had at a PBR event. Even though they don't follow the PBR they loved the entertainment, Flint Rasmussen, laser lights, fireworks, hitches and even the bull riding. My grandsons were even keeping the day sheets.
photo at National Western Stock Show
The pyrotechnics are just one of the great attractions at the PBR events.

The National Western's website has all kinds of "special deals" to come experience the fun and education. They have family deals which include food, entrance and the Wild West show and then their are some two pack tickets. Whatever your fancy they should be able to have a "deal" so you can come out or bring your family to enjoy the fun and education.


Now for those of you who really want to delve into the history of the National Western, their website has all you could possibly want. Check out the link here.

A milestone for the National Western was reached in 1945 when the ever-reliable company sold the Lamont Pavilion, the 1909 Stadium Arena and the cattle wash house to the show for a token price. For the first time, the National Western had clear title to part of its facilities.
Of course if you come for the Stock Show, you could always take a couple of extra days and go ski as the Colorado High Country is experiencing some of the best snow in decades. The powder is more than waste deep at most resorts. The city of Denver also has lots of other entertainment and great restaurants so you'll never be without something to do.

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