Have you been to the Denver Stock Show? Having grown up in Southern California, I was more a beach bum than a horsey person when I relocated to Denver nearly 28 years ago.
In fact, one thing I completely rejected about my new hometown was anything to do with western wear, western culture or cows.
My boots were ski boots, and my jeans were definitely not boot cut. I attended the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo a couple of times, and while it was somewhat fun to watch the little kids chase pigs and the high school girls proudly carry flags on their horses, I couldn’t stand the smell. The odor of cows, pigs, horses and fried food definitely got me down.
About three years ago, I got a new attitude. I went to the stock show twice that year and once the next year and had a blast. I embraced my “new” hometown’s culture and even bought cowboy (or girl) boots. I love them! It’s true what they say, those boots are comfortable!
So from a novice’s perspective, here are the top 5 things you should see or do at this year’s Stock Show. It runs two more weeks, until Sunday, January 24th at the Denver Coliseum. Just follow your nose and you’ll find it.
1. The Rodeo: Bareback riding is an awesome feat. Watching those guys ride their bucking broncos gives new meaning to buns of steel. The barrel racing is an exacting sport of speed and finesse. The rodeo is an inspiring ode to Americana and regardless of the smell, something everyone should see.
2. The Horse Show: The horse shows feature many styles of riding and breeds of horses – hunters and jumpers, Arabians, American Saddlebreds, Appaloosas, Morgans and equitation classes. A fun show for anyone who’s ever ridden a horse or would like to. This is what we would aspire to.
3. The Shopping: This should probably be number 1 coming from me. In the concourse of the Expo Hall there are hundreds of fun and unique booths. This is where I got my boots. You’ll also find hats, leather goods, beautiful artisan pieces, fun clothes and crazy things like cedar furniture, bobcats (for driving around your farm) and beer bottle nightlights.
4. The Exhibit Halls: Bring your children and wander through the exhibit halls. You’ll find many beautiful and interesting animals. Calves, sheep, chickens, lambs and more varieties of cow than I knew existed. Remember your hand sanitizer, last year a few children got sick after visiting the petting zoo.
5. The Junk Food: I’m not a junk food junkie. We stay away from all that and lean more toward brown rice and salad. However, you can’t visit the stock show without eating something fried. Fried anything. Grab a snack or a meal, find a table in the concourse and get back out to the show!
Have a great time at Denver’s Stock Show 2010!
And if 2010 includes the prospect of a new “ranch” for you, contact me for help in buying the new one or selling the old!