Who says Denver’s not a cow town? The National Western Stock Show, held in Denver every January, is now in its 112th year. Since its 1905 debut the Stock Show has been the source of many Denver traditions — leaving the Christmas lights up through the Stock Show; exhibition of the Grand Champion Steer at the Brown Palace; and the annual Stock Show Parade through downtown Denver, which began in 1984 (it was cancelled this year due to weather).
You can read about the early days of the Stock Show in several publications available digitally from our library. Pages 689-693 of the 1927 History of Colorado, published by the State Historical Society, describe the Show’s beginnings, and the 1931 Extension publication What is 4-H Club Work? takes a look at some of the preparations that go into exhibiting at the Stock Show.
You can also read about the history of the Stock Show in Issue 1, 1981, of Colorado Heritage, which is available for checkout from our library. An article, “National Western: A Brief History of the Stock Show,” was written by Willard Simms, longtime general manager of the National Western.
For more about the livestock industry in Colorado, search our library’s online catalog.