Cowboys and cowgirls descending on valley for National Finals Rodeo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Super Bowl of rodeo is headed back to Las Vegas.
The National Finals Rodeo rides into town on Thursday, Dec. 6.
The top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronch riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding will compete in the 10-day event.
In addition to the competition at the Thomas & Mack Center, a variety of other events take place throughout Las Vegas.
The 26th annual Downtown Hoedown on the Fremont Street Experience in downtown las Vegas will feature a variety of free performances including Clay Walker, Uncle Kracker, Jana Kramer and Dustin Lynch. The free entertainment will start at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Other events include the very popular Cowboy Christmas Gift Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 400 vendors from across the United States and Canada offer their unique products including customized jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, original art, handmade crafts and pottery.
There is also a fanfest that is free and open to the public. The fanfest will feature live music and entertainemnt, specialty food and beverages, a rodeo arena, interactive booths and rodeo exhibits. It also takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The rodeo also brings in several big country stars to provide entertainment to the rodeo crowd. Visiting headliners will include ZZ Top at Mandalay Bay, Miss Willie Brown at The Mirage, Rodney Carrington at MGM Grand, Bill Engvall at Treasure Island, Journey at Planet Hollywood, Merle Haggard at Golden Nugget, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at The Venetian, and many more.
In addition, the Miss Rodeo America will take place Dec. 6-12 at the MGM Grand.
The rodeo is a huge draw for Las Vegas and more than 60,000 people came to Las Vegas specifically for the rodeo last year, according to the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority.
All those visitors generated more than $50 million in nongaming revenue alone in 2011.
The Las Vegas valley isn't the only winner. Last year's winners rode away with nearly $6 million in winnings.
Tickets for the rodeo are usually sold out well in advance. But don't worry, more than three dozen properties around the valley will deliver live transmissions of all 10 rodeo performances.
For more information, visit nfrexperience.com.