Dust off your cowboy hat and boots for a beloved Colorado tradition. The National Western Stock Show returns to Denver, January 6–21!

Since 1906, the National Western Stock Show has been a pillar in the agricultural community, clinching the title of premier livestock, rodeo, and horse show in the United States. The 16-day event draws 650,000 visitors annually and is one of Denver's biggest tourist destinations. Of course, with world-class rodeos and horse shows -- not to mention a western trade show -- the Stock Show is a hub for western-themed entertainment, and it never fails to pull out all the stops. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29419,29420"] This year's event will be held Saturday, January 6, through Sunday, January 21, at the National Western Complex. But even before that, you won't want to miss the traditional Kick-off Parade in downtown Denver (complete with Longhorn cattle), on Thursday, January 4, at noon. [caption id="attachment_29425" align="aligncenter" width="2048"]national western stock show Courtesy of Stock Show Facebook page[/caption]
So if you're a newcomer to the Stock Show, here are a few things to know: Regular grounds admission (ranging from $2–$20 per person) will get you access to the stock yards, the trade show, the catch-a-calf contest, the popular mutton bustin' event, the fiddle championships, and a bunch of other fun events. This is great if you're short on cash or have little kids who don't have the attention span for longer events -- and you'll totally get your money's worth! [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29422,29423"] But if you really want to do the Stock Show justice, you've simply got to go to one of the action-packed shows (ranging from $17 to $105 per person, depending on the event)! From Bull Riding to the Pro Rodeo to the Wild West Show and more, real-life cowpokes (yes, please!) will show off in grand style. You'll come face-to-face with Denver's historic cowtown heritage and learn what it truly means to be a Coloradan. [gallery type="rectangular" ids="29427,29424,29426,29421"] For ticket information, visit the National Western Stock Show website! Or access the full calendar of events here. Do you go to the Stock Show every year? If so, what's your favorite can't-miss event? Please leave a comment below!

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