Beginning the first week of December, and lasting for 10 days, rodeo enthusiasts are dreaming of a Cowboy Christmas and headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the most coveted rodeo of all time: the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Walking down the Strip, expect to see cowboy hats and boots lining the sidewalks as people from all over the world visit for the night time performances of the championship rodeo.
This year, the rodeo occurs Dec. 6 through 15 and will host the Top 15 cowboys and cowgirls from all seven of Pro Rodeo’s events. However, that’s just half the excitement of Vegas in December. Among all activities, between the World Series of Team Roping’s events and Gold Buckle Ceremony at the South Point Casino and Hotel, there is also a massive Western gift show, appropriately titled, Cowboy Christmas.
Gambling might be a good way to pass the time, but why not spend the money buying unique Western items, all while exceeding your Fitbit daily steps goal?
This show, which is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will house more than 400 vendors this year and takes up over 400,000 square feet of space. The vendors cater to the outdoorsy, Western-way-of-life people. From huge brands like Wrangler jeans, to small, local vendors from across the country, there is something for everyone. Getting Christmas shopping done has never been easier.
I remember my first Cowboy Christmas experience. I walked into the convention center to a sea of people dressed in cowboy boots and hats, while walking through vendor booths as far as the eye could see. It can easily take the full 10-days of the rodeo to go through every booth in Cowboy Christmas and, to this day, I have never been able to see everything.
If you are looking for panels for a new arena, or machinery to use on the farm, it can be found at Cowboy Christmas. If you are looking for the highest fashion in rodeo, or searching for the perfect horse trailer, look no further than the floors of the LVCC. If you want to decorate your living room, visit the Ram National Circuit Finals booth and hold their mascot, fluffy, you’ll definitely want to stop by.
This year, the Cowboy Christmas show is partnering with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Hunter and Outdoor Expo to host a show that totals over 900,000 square feet and features everything from firearms to hunting apparel. But, that’s not all. Cowboy Christmas also features the Junior NFR, a rodeo event for the top cowboys and cowgirls who are 19 years and younger to compete in the same events the pros do during the WNFR. It also hosts talk shows, live entertainment and social lounges. You will most likely run into some of your favorite rodeo competitors and western influencers while walking around the booths as well.
During the 2017 WNFR, I walked the aisles of Cowboy Christmas and saw many of my favorite riders, like California Steer Wrestler, Luke Branquinho, who had a small conversation and took a photo with me. The unique aspect of the trade show is the ability to speak to the cowboys and cowgirls that make the WNFR what it is. Not only are they willing to have a conversation, but they walk around the show themselves, shopping at vendor booths they like. Many of the athletes, even those who are not competing, set up autograph signing hours at their sponsor booths, so make sure to keep an eye out for your favorite competitors.
For more information regarding Cowboy Christmas, visit www.nfrexperience.com.
Markie Hageman majored in agribusiness at Fort Hays State University. She is actively involved in her state Cattlemen’s Association, Young Farmers chapter, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Her AGDAILY.com articles can be found here.