Special Events

Check out these Special Events that are FREE with your Grounds Admission ticket!


The third annual BBQ Throwdown will take place Saturday, January 7th, 2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. 40 teams will compete in a wide range of categories including pork, ribs, chicken, and brisket. Each team competes for the coveted Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion titles.  The event is FREE with a Grounds Admission ticket, and festivities will include:

  • BBQ competitor viewing
  • live music
  • culinary demos
  • grill giveaways
  • FREE samples
  • Kid Zone
  • FREE Beer Power Hour

*NEW for 2017 – CHILI COOKOFF!
10 Teams, $35/entry, Winner will be declared by People’s Choice
Chili Cookoff Team Application

Location: NW Events Center parking lot H, 1515 E. 47th Street
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm

More information: Morgan Topolnicki [303-299-5560 or mtopolnicki@nationalwestern.com]

Martin Martin, Inc_NWSS2014 (5)

They come from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming to compete in National Western Stock Show’s longest running program of practical beef cattle management. In just over 70 years, the Catch-A-Calf Contest has awarded nearly 3,000 steers to 4-H members hailing from the western United States.

The program began in 1935 when 10 boys caught 10 sponsored calves. The contest quickly caught on, and the program grew to include 52 calves by 1942. Soon after World War II, the program settled at 40 calves per year, which is where the number continues to stand today.

The program is designed so successful participants catch a calf, feed it, and return with the animal one year later as a market steer. The market animals are judged on rate of gain, quality of fitting, and carcass quality. The exhibitor is judged on showmanship, their record book, and a personal interview.

The 2015 Catch-A-Calf schedule includes the placing of the 2015 calves in the Stadium Arena on January 11, 2015 at 10 a.m and is FREE with your Grounds Admission ticket.

Catch-A-Calf contests in the Coliseum are held during the rodeos on the following days:
*Thursday, January 15, 2014
*Saturday, January 17, 2015
*Sunday, January 18, 2015

* Rodeo ticket required

EquiCross-Cinch_ACINCH Equicross is a gymkhana style rodeo consisting of four (4) events: Rescue Race, Key Hole Race, Ring Race/Musical Ropes and Flag Racing. Contestants are 14-18 years of age and compete for scholarship money.

2017 Entry Form

Contact Barb Nolan at bnolan@nationalwestern.com for more information or to be included on the contact list for early notifications regarding the 2017 Cinch Equicross.

Denver Coliseum 
Thursday, January 12 @  2:30pm  
Rescue Race
Key Hole Race
Ring Race/Musical Ropes
Flag Racing 
$5000 in Scholarships 

NWSS2014 (2)The Colorado Old Time Fiddlers’ Association (COTFA) is dedicated to fiddling of all kinds, with a special emphasis on contest (Texas Style) fiddling. This fun event takes place on the opening weekend of Stock Show in the Beef Palace Arena.

Click Here to learn more.

National Western proudly hosts Cowboy Church services every Sunday during show.

January 8 | 10 a.m.
National Western Sunday Service
in remembrance of Ashley Doolittle and honoring past friends of the Horse Show
Music starts at 9:30 a.m.

January 15 | 10 a.m.
Founders Memorial
honoring past WSSA members
hosted by Fellowship of Christian Cowboys
with guest speaker Glen Keller

January 22 | 10 a.m.
hosted by Fellowship of Christian Cowboys
with music provided

Outside crowds and faces Sunday, January 22 is the last day of Stock Show and Fan Appreciation Day.
Grounds Admission tickets are only $10 for adults. Kids 3-11 years old are $3. Kids 2 and under are always FREE. 


ranchrodeoposter_11x17Saturday, January 8 | 5:30 p.m.
Events Center

Watch teams of real working cowboys compete against each other with skills used every day in cattle ranching operations. Ranch rodeos tend to represent real-life ranch work more so than the traditional rodeo, with events like calf branding, wild cow milking and steer doctoring.

NWSSParadeLonghornsLogo The sight of over a hundred Texas Longhorn cattle walking through the streets of downtown Denver can only mean one thing…it’s Stock Show time.

The National Western Stock Show Kick-Off Parade is a sight to see with marching bands, floats, horseback riders, cowboys, cowgirls and yes…Longhorn cattle. The parade starts at Union Station and runs down 17th Street on Thursday January 5, 2017 at noon. 

The 2017 Kick-off Parade has been CANCELED due to weather conditions. 

In conjunction with the parade is the annual National Western BBQ Lunch beginning at 11:30am in the atrium at the Wells Fargo Building. Visitors can listen to Western music and catch up on the latest trends at a Western Fashion Show. The BBQ is open to the public and benefits the 4-H International Youth Group. Meal Tickets are $10.

One of National Western’s most popular events, Mutton Bustin’ features children ages 5-7 and under 55 pounds riding sheep out of a chute and into the arena! Anything goes, and usually does, as contestants hold on as long as they can!

Registration will open in the fall!  Check back.

Photo courtesy of Heidi Anderson

Photo courtesy of Heidi Anderson

From backyard pets to a rancher’s top assistant, dogs are man’s best friend. The National Western Stock Show takes pride in highlighting the relationship between these amazing animals and their human counterparts.  Enjoy watching this event which is FREE with your Grounds Admission ticket.

This year we will be offering our 7th Annual Stock Dog Sale. Preview of the Stock Dogs will be available prior to the sale live at the Stockyards.

Team Penning Girl 2transwest       Hutchinson
National Western’s Team Penning is bound to catch your attention. A fast-paced event full of action, each team must sort and pen the pre-selected cattle from a large herd in the specified amount of time.

FREE with your Grounds Admission ticket is the Team Penning competition January 9-11, 2017 from 7am – 2pm in the Coliseum.
Team Penning finals will be held during Monday and Tuesday nights’ PBR Bull Riding. A PBR Bull Riding ticket is required to attend.

There is so much to see and do with your Grounds Admission ticket. From Mutton Bustin’ to shopping to meandering through the “Historic Yards” to see the different cattle breeds, there is lots to see and do at Stock Show!

Colorado’s Largest Trade Show
Educational Kids Activities
Mutton Bustin’
Coors Western Art Exhibit
Horse Shows
Livestock Shows