Through Jan. 22. Get on your boots: The second weekend of the National Western Stock Show begins today. After hitting its second-highest-ever opening day attendance figures on Jan. 7, the Stock Show lures spectators with rodeos aplenty in the coming week. Daily ProRodeo events with matinee and evening showtimes keep the action coming, including lots of mutton-bustin’ for courageous youngsters. Monday also brings the Martin Luther King, Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo of Champions, starring black cowboys and cowgirls in a variety of contests. Fans of traditional English riding aren’t left out, either: Tonight, the Gambler’s Choice Open Jumper Stake features show jumpers in a “rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere,” followed by the jumpers’ Grand Prix on Monday. The “Wild West Show,” on Saturday and Sunday, and “Evening of Dancing Horses” performances Wednesday and Thursday round out the equestrian excitement. The 9News Super Dogs shows, on Monday and Tuesday, are kid-friendly displays of dog agility, with pooches of all different breeds and sizes jumping, scampering and showing off for the crowd. Of course, part of the fun at the Stock Show is wandering through the exhibit halls and taking it all in: the livestock on display and in competition, the vendors peddling their wares, the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale. Kids can join in fun activities, too, like going backstage with a rodeo clown, petting cute critters and riding in stick-horse rodeos. Daily through Jan. 22. National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St.; 303-297-1166. Grounds admission is $8-$14 for adults, $2-$3 for children ages 3 to 11. Prices vary by day. Separate tickets are required for special events. Tickets are available at the door, at nationalwestern.com, by phone at 888-551-5004, or at King Soopers locations.
Through Sunday. Can’t make it to the Stock Show? Get a fix of horse-y fun at the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show in Loveland. The annual festival of huge horses includes three days of contests, with national and local teams rumbling through Budweiser Events Center. Percherons, Clydesdales, Belgians, Shires—the big breeds will be in attendance, competing in different classes and hitches. Serious fans can purchase three-day passes for $30. 6:30 p.m. tonight, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Budweiser Events Center, 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland; 970-619-4100. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children. Buy tickets in advance by calling the BEC; tickets will also be available at the door. bigthundershow.com
Through Monday. Cold weather is no reason to stay inside. Celebrate the season at the Estes Park Winter Festival. The party starts tonight with a free Ceilidh Barn Dance inside the pavilion at Stanley Park. Pronounced “kay-lee,” the Ceilidh is a Celtic hoedown with music, storytelling, snacks and more. On Saturday and Sunday, revelers can gather in Stanley Park for live music, shopping, a chili cookoff and an interactive ice castle complete with an ice maze, slide and other frozen fun. As part of Winter Trails Day, the Winter Festival also includes free snowshoe demos on Saturday in Rocky Mountain National Park—which is waiving entrance fees for the Martin Luther King Day weekend. Times and locations of activities vary; visit estesparkwinterfestival.com for details. Admission to Saturday and Sunday’s events at Stanley Park is $5, with fees for some additional activities, like wine tastings and carriage rides.
Saturday. Oatmeal is a longtime breakfast favorite, and the city of Lafayette wants to throw it a party. The 16th annual Lafayette Quaker Oatmeal Festival is a full-on fiesta for the early-morning staple, with a morning’s worth of activities dedicated to the stuff. The highlight is a huge oatmeal breakfast that features a massive toppings bar for the ultimate, customized bowl of oatmeal. Other events include a health fair, the “Quicker Quaker” 5K walk/run and, most deliciously, an oatmeal-themed baking contest. 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Breakfast served at Pioneer Elementary School, 101 E. Baseline Road, Lafayette. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for youth ages 3 to 12 and seniors age 60 and older. Visit lafayettecolorado.com for a full list of event times and locations.
Kathleen St. John