Giddyup! Ten can't-miss events at the National Western Stock Show

Giddyup! Ten can't-miss events at the National Western Stock Show

It's time to pull out those cowboy hats and boots as the National Western Stock Show begins its 108th year. After a parade through downtown Denver today, the NWSS will start in earnest on Saturday, running through January 26 at the National Western Complex. In addition to professional rodeos, Colorado's largest horse show and a huge trade show, the sixteen-day NWSS features a variety of yeehaw-worthy events; here are ten of them.

See also: Photos: The people and animals of the 2013 Stock Show Parade

Giddyup! Ten can't-miss events at the National Western Stock Show
Brandon Marshall

10) National Western Stock Show Kick Off Parade Noon, January 9 17th Street starting at Union Station The Stock Show's kickoff parade is a treasured tradition -- and a great sight on the streets of downtown Denver. Over 100 Texas longhorn cattle will saunter down 17th Street, accompanied by various two-legged politicians and celebrities. Following the parade, there will be a BBQ lunch in the atrium of the Wells Fargo building, 1700 Lincoln Street; meal tickets cost $10 and benefit the 4-H National Youth Group.

9) Catch a Calf Contest January 18, January 20 Stadium Arena

Every year ten kids are cheered on as they work to catch the sponsored calves running through the arena. But once a child catches a calf, his or her work is not over. During the next year the participants feed and care for the animals, and the calves are judged at the next Stock Show on the basis of their carcass quality and weight gain. The participants are judged, too, for showmanship, their record book, and a personal interview. The winner of last year's contest will be announced in the stadium arena at 10 a.m. on January 12. And you can see future champions at Catch a Calf Contests and the morning and matinee rodeos on January 18 and matinee and evening rodeos on the January 20.

8) Super Dogs 2 p.m. January 20, 6:30 p.m. January 21 Events Center

Super Dogs have been a big hit at the NWSS. The troupe includes twenty talented dogs trained to run at incredible speeds and jump to miraculous heights. the event is a family favorite.

Giddyup! Ten can't-miss events at the National Western Stock Show

7) Martin Luther King Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo 6 p.m. January 20 Denver Coliseum Many cowboys working in the Wild West were African-American -- and Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a perfect day to honor them with a visit to the rodeo. Black cowboys and cowgirls will compete in the Pony Express relay, ladies' steer un-decorating contest and other beloved rodeo events. Hold your horses! Keep reading for more rodeo events.

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