If there is one constant at Cowboy Christmas each year it is the outstanding shopping. However, each year the experience has continued to grow with the addition of interactive and experiential elements. This year is no different with three new elements – NFR Extra, Junior NFR BLVD. presented by 12 Gauge Ranch and Cavender’s Speed Zone presented by Priefert.
Cowboy Christmas runs concurrently with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Dec. 6 – 15, and is open daily at the Las Vegas Convention Center from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Admission is always free.
All three of these elements are located upstairs from Cowboy Christmas within the footprint of RMEF’s Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo. NFR Extra is a customized studio designed to capture unique interviews with those involved in the rodeo industry. Once the NFR is over, NFR Extra will become an hour-long podcast in 2019 which will air twice monthly and feature icons that make up the rodeo and Western lifestyle. NFR Extra will run from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. daily.
At Cavender’s Speed Zone presented by Priefert attendees can learn the ropes from rodeo legend Speed Williams. In this area, a revolutionary piece of equipment known as ‘Speed Trainer’ will be on display. It is a stationary training device developed by Priefert. Attendees will be able to test their skills each day. The daily schedule includes:
- 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Free practice on Speed Trainer
- 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Seminar by Speed Williams
- 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Free practice on Speed Trainer
- 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Competitions in Team Roping, Tie-Down Roping, Breakaway and Goat Tying (Registration on Site)
To add to the experience upstairs, attendees can take a stroll along the red carpet at Junior NFR BLVD. presented by 12 Gauge Ranch featuring sixteen interactive exhibits from sponsors of each event and the Junior NFR. The red carpet will lead you to the Wrangler Rodeo Arena, the location for the Junior NFR.
In addition to the three new areas, Cowboy Christmas will include the following main anchor displays and programming elements:
- Rodeo Way – This “Old West” setting features eight interactive industry and rodeo exhibits located at the east end of Cowboy Christmas;
- Wrangler Rodeo Arena – The arena will seat more than 1,100 fans and feature the Flag Girl Competition, Exceptional Rodeo presented by NV Energy and, for the second consecutive year, the Junior NFR presented by YETI with championship competitions in bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, breakaway, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing;
- Rodeo Live presented by RODEOHOUSTON – Daily features include Flint Rasmussen’s “Outside the Barrel,” RFD-TV’s Western Sports Roundup and Rodeo Recess with host Andy Seiler. Daryle Singletary’s Keepin’ it Country with host Andy Griggs will be a tribute to the singer who tragically passed away in February;
- Coors Rodeo Saloon – Every great “rodeo” needs a saloon. Located near the east end of Cowboy Christmas, the Saloon features food vendors and video screens with a replay of the prior night’s Wrangler NFR performance;
- NFR Social Lounge – This area will feature radio remotes, contestant and musician autograph sessions, giveaways and more;
- Great Wall of Rodeo presented by Calgary Stampede – This fan favorite features a graphic of all Wrangler NFR contestants and other interactive elements.
Gold, Silver and Bronze buckle level and Junior NFR sponsors include 12 Gauge Ranch, Bex, Bloomer Trailers, Boot Barn, Browning, B&W Trailer Hitches, Cactus Ropes, Cactus Saddlery, Calgary Stampede, Classic Equine, Coors, Heel-O-Matic, Hesston by Massey Ferguson, Hooey, Impact Gel, Justin, Montana Silversmiths, NV Energy, Nevada State Bank, Outlaw Equine, Pendleton Whisky, Priefert, PrimeSport, Purina, Pro Fantasy Rodeo, Ram Rodeo, Reno Rodeo, Resistol, RFD-TV, RODEOHOUSTON, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Rodeo Rigs, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Star Nursery, Total Feeds, Inc., Wrangler, YETI and Zesterra.
Cowboy Christmas brought record crowds to the Las Vegas Convention Center over the ten days in 2017. Total attendance reached 253,675, surpassing the previous record attendance of 231,517 set in 2016.
Sold out for more than 300 consecutive performances, the Wrangler NFR attracts the Top 15 PRCA contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding, plus barrel racing. Under the new contract with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association that runs through 2024, the purse in 2018 is $10 million. Qualification is based on the 2018 PRCA World Standings.