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Guide to Family Fun at the National Western Stock Show

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The National Western Stock Show is just one week from the annual Kick-Off Parade launching the 114-year-old Colorado tradition in Denver.  The historic Stock Show Parade trots through the streets of downtown Denver next Thursday, January 9, at noon.  The procession will be led by parade Grand Marshal, Jake Jabs.

The 2020 National Western Stock Show promises to showcase your favorite western traditions as well as highlight the many “must-see” events across the grounds.  The best 16 days in January opens Saturday, January 11, and runs through January 26, with everything from petting farms and pony rides, championship fiddle competitions, PBR bull riding, family-fun dog shows, the Exceptional Rodeo event for kids with special needs, the Coors Western Art gallery, a nursery of baby animals, and acres of food and shopping, including the Chevy display in the main expo hall.
The National Western Stock Show will host nearly 30 professional rodeo performances, world-class horse shows and the “Super Bowl” of livestock shows.  There will be more than 15,000 head of livestock and horses that pass through the grounds, with 25 different breeds of cattle and six other species, including miniature cattle, goats, lambs, alpacas, llamas and poultry.  There are several ticket deals you can score discounted tickets from Groupon or Travelzoo to free grounds day (sponsored by Arrow Electronics) on January 14. Plus, no matter what grounds admission is free with the purchase of a rodeo ticket. It is a full day’s entertainment at the price of a movie.  
Family favorites include:
  • CSU Ag Adventure is the perfect place for children and adults to learn about the world of agriculture!  Located on the 3rd floor of the Expo Hall and FREE of charge, you will have the opportunity to have a hands-on experience learning about the animal and crop production, and how we use them everyday lives.  You don’t want to miss this interactive exhibit!
  • Located on the 3rd floor of the Expo Hall, come face to face with over 60 barnyard animals! The Petting Farm is presented by King Soopers and is FREE with your grounds admission ticket! Mini Sicilian donkeys, pygmy goats, and mini call ducks, make up the diverse group of friendly animals. Ice cream cones of food can be purchased for $3 at entry.
  • Time to saddle up!  The National Western Pony Rides, presented by 7-Eleven, are available to all the future cowboys and cowgirls on the 3rd Floor of the Expo Hall. Young riders have the opportunity to ride beautiful, purebred Welsh ponies for just $6.
  • Celebrating its 16th year at the 2020 National Western Stock Show, the Youth Art Contest showcases western-inspired works of art from students in grades 1st-12th. Champion and Reserve Champions will have their artwork displayed at the 2020 National Western Stock Show.
  • Horse around in this exhibit that will teach you everything want to know about equine! Located in the Events Center Paddock next to the National Western Nursery and FREE of charge, the Hutchison Western Pony Trails exhibit is interactive, educational, and built with kids in mind! Learn how to measure a horse, the differences between English and Western disciplines, and even get a look at the Denver Mounted Patrol. Don’t forget your camera, because there are lots of photo opportunities within this exciting exhibit.
  • Come meet National Western’s newest arrivals of your favorite farm animals at the National Western Nursery and learn about their first days of life on the farm!  Visit all the mothers and babies in the Events Center Paddock, next to the pony trail exhibit. 
  • The Ames Activity Pavilion is the kid-friendly fun center with Old West Cowboy Antics, Adventures of Dally and Spanky, Folkoric Dancers, Stick Horse Rodeo and Grand Prix, Farmyard Follies, Top Hogs, Sheep Sheering and more. 
The National Western Stock Show will drive $120 million in economic impact to the Denver Metro area this January and raise more than $500,000 for the National Western Scholarship Trust, which distributes more than 100 scholarships to students studying in the fields of agricultural sciences, rural medicine and veterinary medicine.  
Grounds admission and event tickets are on sale at and all King Soopers locations. 
Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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