Taking stock of 117 years: Denver’s little slice of cowtown


For two weeks in January, a little slice of Denver transforms into a cowtown. 

Not long into the beginning of each new year, The National Western Stock Show lays claim to the Denver Coliseum and the National Western Complex to offer what is billed as “The Best 16 Days in January.” 

Granted, most of January in Denver is little more than bitter Arctic winds blowing in off the Front Range or short days where the sun dances low enough on the southern horizon to leave a nice layer of perma-snow on the ground. Somehow, this more-than-a-century old tradition brings those in the metro area out to catch a glimpse at award-winning livestock, professional rodeos and a bevy of other agricultural themed events and exhibits — bone chilling temperatures or not. 

Celebrating its 117th year, the National Western Stock Show is one of the largest annual agriculture conventions in the country, and celebrated record-breaking attendance during the weekend of Jan. 14.

One might be hard pressed to think that the sites and smells were much different in 1898, when the show first opened. That’s, of course, excluding the fairground style food vendors hawking $22 turkey legs or the $40 parking fee  in the surrounding lots. 

— Philip B. Poston, Sentinel Photo Editor


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