One of my dream vacations would be to attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Every year, in our little home town, we get a taste of the spirit of the rodeo when our town hosts the annual Sonoita Rodeo. Its a small time rodeo, but has all the pageantry and competition of the big rodeos. We have a Rodeo Queen contest, equestrian performances, musical entertainment, a steak fry, and of course great rodeo events like Bronco Busting, Barrel Racing, Team Roping, Wild Horse Race, Calf Roping, and our, Favorite Bull Riding. We occasionally attend the annual rodeo in Tucson too.
It would be an absolute treat to travel to Las Vegas to attend the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. There is so much more excitement and pageantry surrounding the event. The contestants compete in Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc, Tie Down Roping, Barrel Racing, and Bull Riding. But in addition to the rodeo events there are many other outside events like the Miss Rodeo America pageant, fashion shows, a cowboy gift show. The Academy of Country Music sponsors a music stage with up and coming country artists. Also many big name Country Music artist schedule Vegas performances during the rodeo week. In 2007 performers included all time favorites like Ronny Milsap and some of todays biggest acts like Trace Adkins, Brooks and Dunn, and Clay Walker. For people who like comedy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall also had performances in town during the week.
We have seen some of the NFR events on TV, as well as NFR events in media and in movies. The movie “8 Seconds” chronicles the life of Lane Frost, who was tragically killed in an event leading up the NFR, and his best friend Tuff Hedeman who honored his friends memory with an amazing 10th round bull ride at the NFR. Another movie that we love is “Pure Country” staring George Strait. The final scenes of the movie take place at one of the Las Vegas music events that take place during the NFR week.
Living in rural America has certainly increased our awareness and enjoyment of the rodeo. Hopefully, some day we will be able to get some Wrangler National Finals Rodeo tickets and actually experience the NFR first hand.