National Western Stock Show begins Saturday; kick-off parade on Thursday |

National Western Stock Show begins Saturday; kick-off parade on Thursday

Sharon Dunn

Alyssa DePorter kisses her steer, Dunk It, last year at her family's ranch in Eaton. She competed last year at the National Western Stock Show.

The National Western Stock Show will launch its 112th year at noon Thursday with a parade through downtown Denver, kicking off two weeks of must-see Western events and animals.

The 16-day show opens Saturday and runs through Jan. 21 with everything from ranch rodeo, championship fiddle competitions, professional bull riding and family-fun dog shows, to the Coors Western Art gallery, a nursery of baby animals and acres of food and shopping, according to a news release.

Tuesday is free grounds admission day. Visit the National Western box office, 4655 Humboldt St. in Denver, to get a ticket and enjoy the day. Parking will be free throughout the event; there will be a free shuttle service, as well as additional parking.

National Western will host nearly 30 professional rodeos, world-class horse shows and the "Super Bowl" of livestock shows, the release stated. The historic stockyards will stockpile 40 semitrailer loads of shavings, 14 semitrailer loads of straw and will haul away 65 semitrailer trucks full of manure for recycle when the event is over. There will be more than 15,000 head of livestock and horses that pass through the grounds, with 25 breeds of cattle and six other species, including miniature Zebu cattle, goats, lambs, alpaca, llama and poultry, the release stated.

The stock show will raise nearly $500,000 for the National Western Scholarship Trust, which distributes more than 100 scholarships to students studying in the fields of agriculture and rural medicine, the release stated.

Grounds admission and event tickets are on sale at and all King Soopers locations.