2017 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas events, meals, entertainment

The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicks off on Dec. 7 and ends Dec. 16.

The top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding will be competing at the Thomas & Mack Center for $10 million in prize money. 

In 2016, more than 168,000 people attended the rodeo over 10 days. In addition to the rodeo, rodeo fans are able to attend special concerts and events and enjoy a variety fo deals during the rodeo.

The following is a list of concerts, events and deals for 2017:

EVENTS

The Plaza is hosting downtown Las Vegas' first and only practice arena and stalls presented by Heel-O-Matic.  Team roping practice will be held daily Dec. 4-16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with grade A and B live steers or Heel-O-Matic’s Ultimate Ground Driven Trainer available for use. The Plaza will also offer live NFR viewing parties, free shuttle service and numerous drink and food specials during the 10-day event.

South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa celebrates the beginning of the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) with a star-studded rodeo gold carpet “Road to the Gold Buckle” during the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) welcome reception. Fans will have the opportunity to witness their favorite WNFR competitors walk the gold carpet, dressed to impress, before entering the private welcome reception. Notable attendees include Sage Kimzey, ranked No. 1 Bull Rider in earnings; Lisa Lockhart, fan favorite barrel racer and last year’s NFR Average winner; Trevor Brazille and brother-in-law Tuf Cooper return to the NFR as number 1 and 2 in PRCA World Standings for the All-Around race.  The gold carpet will begin at 5 p.m.

Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center is a one-of-a-kind western gift show featuring some of the top cowboy and country western vendors in the country. There are 400 exhibitors total, selling everything from clothes, original art and official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise. There is also live entertainment. Rodeo Way, one of the six main interactive elements of Cowboy Christmas, will also feature unique exhibits that highlight the best of rodeo. Exhibitors include Bullfighters Only, Calgary Stampede, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Days of ’47, Indian National Finals Rodeo, Pendleton Round-Up, RODEOHOUSTON and San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Admittance is free.

South Point Arena at the South Point hotel-casino welcomes the return of the Benny Binion Bucking Horse and Bull Sale, one of the premier events during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), on Thursday, Dec. 7. The United Bucking Horse Association (UBHA) Futurity Finals & Sale will feature the top 36 bucking horses in North America competing in their year-end finals event.  All colts entered in the UBHA Finals Event will be sold immediately after they are bucked.  Following the event will be the “PRCA Permit Holder of the Year Challenge & Bucking Stock Sale” at 12 p.m. where the top five PRCA Permit Holders in all PRCA rodeo events will compete in a two-round showdown. During the event Permit Holders will be bucking the sale stock and will conclude with the sale of Barebacks, Saddle Broncs and 24 Bulls. All bucking stock is sold as they are bucked during the performance.  Advance purchase tickets are $15 and are available at the South Point Box Office.

South Point Showroom will host the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) Buckle Ceremonies every night following the day’s competition from Thursday, Dec. 7 through Friday, Dec. 15 at 11 p.m. The nightly go-round winner in each of the seven Wrangler NFR events will be presented with a prized buckle and review the night’s action with hosts Flint Rasmussen and Randy Corley. This event is free and open to the public.

The South Point Exhibit Hall will hold the annual CINCH Western Gift Show Thursday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 17.   For 11 days, the Cinch Western Gift Show will serve as a one-stop-shop for cowboys, cowgirls and true western lifestyle fans. The Gift Show will feature vendors from all around the country bringing the best in Western lifestyle to South Point. More than 150 vendors will be displaying the best in Western apparel and accessories, tack, leather goods, animal health, ranch and farm equipment, and equestrian related home décor, gifts and jewelry. This event is free and open to the public.

On Friday, Dec. 8, the top 50 Saddle Bronc competitors in the world will ride the next generation of world champion bucking horses during the World Bronc Futurity in the South Point Arena. Guests of all ages can witness the intensity and excitement as competitors try to stay atop of their horses.  All the bucking horses bucked in the futurity will be sold immediately after they are placed. Tickets start at $18 and are available at the South Point Box Office.

The Priefert World Series of Team Roping (WSTR), the second richest equine event in the world, will take place in the South Point Arena Saturday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 17. The event began in 2006 as a recreational diversion for cowboys during the National Finals Rodeo and has quickly grown into the richest team roping event in the world. Over 100,000 teams turned out at WSTR qualifiers during the 2017 season and thousands of teams will compete in Las Vegas for over $11 million dollars in purse money. Guests will watch in awe as some of the best team-ropers from across the country compete for the championship titles. This event is free and open to the public.

Local and tourist rodeo enthusiasts are invited to saddle up for Gary Leffew's Bucking Ball event at Tropicana Las Vegas this December.  In honor of the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), this ten day event will boot scoot into the Trinidad Pavilion and feature a series of nightly activities - for the ultimate Western lifestyle rodeo affair. Guests are invited to kick off the evening with a glimpse of the most prestigious rodeo event in the world with a special closed circuit viewing party, along with a WNFR-inspired pop up shop featuring cowboy inspired apparel and gifts for the rodeo enthusiast with hats, boots, belt buckles and accessories for purchase.
 
To adhere to the excitement of the rodeo, the true after-party will start which features live music from the legendary Texas Jamm Band featuring members of George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band, as well as country recording artist, Scotty Alexander.  In addition, guests will also be able to enjoy a rodeo arena style dance floor, drink specials, giveaways featuring exclusive offers including one of a kind six-string acoustic guitar autographed by multiple country stars and much, much more.
 
AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS

The autograph session schedule is as follows:
Friday, Dec. 8 – Barrel Racers at the Golden Nugget (The Grand Event Center); Chauncy Kirby at Palace Station (Casino Bar 1-3 p.m.); Rocky McDonald and Beau Hill at Santa Fe Station (Race and Sports Book 8-9 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 9 – Tie-Down Ropers at the MGM Grand (Main Lobby); Cooper Dewitt and Logan Corbett at Palace Station (Casino Bar 1-3 p.m.); Miles Jones and Jay Morrow at Santa Fe Station (Race and Sports Book 1-3 p.m.); Tyler Corrington and Tilden Hooper at Palace Station (Casino Bar 7:30-8:30 p.m.); Rocky McDonald and Beau Hill at Santa Fe Station (Race and Sports Book 8-9 p.m.)
Monday, Dec. 11 – Team Ropers at Cowboy Christmas (Rodeo Way)
Tuesday, Dec. 12 – Steer Wrestlers at Cowboy Christmas (Rodeo Way)
Wednesday, Dec. 13 – Bull Riders at Treasure Island (Gilley’s Saloon)
Thursday, Dec. 14 – Bareback Riders at New York-New York
Friday, Dec. 15 – Saddle Bronc Riders at Harrah’s (Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill)

HEADLINE ENTERTAINMENT

Guests can plan to laugh their cowboy boots off with comedian and country music artist Rodney Carrington who will return to the David Copperfield Theater at MGM Grand December 7 – 16. Performances start at 10 p.m. nightly. Tickets start at $59.99.

Blue Collar Comedy star Bill Engvall will bring his family-friendly stand-up show to the Treasure Island Theatre Friday, December 15 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at only $59.95 plus taxes and service fees and are available now at the TI Box Office, 702-894-7722.        

Gary Allan performs Dec. 8 and 9 inside The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Tickets start at $39.50.

Chart-topping country band best known for setting records on the Billboard Country Airplay Charts, Parmalee, will take the stage with special guest Kasey Tyndall at The Foundry at SLS Las Vegas on  Dec. 10. Following the success of their debut album, “Feels Like Carolina,” the band has played sold-out venues across the country alongside superstar Jake Owen, and has earned recognition as a semi-finalist for the Academy of Country Music’s coveted “New Artist of the Year” award. Tickets for the Hotdamalama Tour are on sale now and start at $22.50, excluding tax and fees. Doors open at 8 p.m. for the 18+ show.

OTHER ENTERTAINMENT

The annual Downtown Hoedown is happening Dec. 6 at the Fremont Street Experience. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., rodeo fans are invited to saddle up for the official kick-off party featuring full-length performances by some of country music’s most coveted acts including Kip Moore, Neal McCoy, Michael Ray, Carly Pearce, Drake White and The Big Fire and Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.

Country music star Sierra Black performs in the South Point Showroom on Dec. 6 and 12. Free admittance.

Aaron Watson performs Dec. 7-11 at South Point. Hits include  “Outta Style,” “That Look,” and “Best For Last” at the South Point Showroom. Watson is known for his country melodies and is well respected in the country music world. In addition, Watson has worked alongside the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Benson and many more.

Cody Johnson performs Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 16 at the South Point. Bull rider turned country music star, Cody Johnson is sure to entertain guests all night with his classic country voice and impressive guitar playing at the South Point Showroom. Making a name for himself on Texas country stages has gained him national recognition as he topped Billboard Country Album's Charts in 2014. https://southpointcasino.com/entertainment/showroom

Live entertainment at PBR Rock Bar & Grill includes Huckleberry Hicks, The Luke Kaufman band, DJ Wyoming and DJ Caffine. There will also be bull riding contests hosted by Rockin' Robbie Hodges Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 15-16.

Rodeo fans  can also enjoy free country  at Vinyl and Culinary Dropout (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) including Daryl Singletary on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 14 at 9:30 p.m. (Vinyl); Mark Wills on Friday Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 9:30 p.m. (Vinyl); David Ball on Sunday, Dec. 10 and Monday, Dec. 11 at 9:30 p.m. (Vinyl); Andy Griggs on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 9:30 p.m. (Vinyl); and Ricochet on Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 at 9:30 p.m. (Culinary Dropout).

For those seeking toe-tapping country music in one of the most iconic Las Vegas lounges, Cleopatra’s Barge inside Caesars Palace will offer a live country band from 9 to 11 p.m. followed by a live country DJ until 2 a.m. on Dec. 7 through Dec. 10 and Dec. 14 through Dec. 16.

The Easy 8’s will wrangle in a set list complete with a mix of original songs and covers at The Sayers Club inside SLS Las Vegas starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9. Admission is free to both 21+ shows. SLS Las Vegas’ signature lobby bar, Monkey Bar will also offer free live entertainment from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday Dec. 9.

The Gold Buckle Zone presented by Bud Light at MGM Grand will feature performances by Doublewide, featuring members of the boogie Knights Band. One of Southern California’s premier country cover bands, this classic act combines the heart and soul of pop and classic country. Doublewide performs hits by artists including Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson and Hank Williams Jr., among others. Dj Silver will spin tunes from midnight to 1 a.m. nightly.

There will also be autograph sessions with cowboys from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8 and 15 and tie-down roping contestants from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. 

Guests can enjoy country music nightly from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and try out their dancing shoes with line dancing Dec. 7 through Dec. 10 and Dec.14 through Dec. 16 from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Spanish Steps bar at Caesars Palace. Stop by for MillerCoors rider autograph signings on Dec. 8 beginning at 10 p.m., Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fans can enjoy a brahma bull photo opportunity from Dec. 8 through 10 and bull roper festivities on Dec. 8 and 9.

For live country entertainment perfect to celebrate the rodeo, visit Redneck Riviera at the Grand Bazaar Shops adjacent to Bally’s Las Vegas. John Rich’s first unique country music bar offers live entertainment and regular performances by Rich, sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and a menu with delicious items from Wahlburgers.  

At 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar inside Flamingo Las Vegas, rodeo-goers can enjoy a country DJ, nightly drink specials and line-dancing beginning at 8 p.m. Fans can also visit the bar for MillerCoors rider autograph signings on Dec. 9 and Dec.15 from starting at 11 p.m.

Cowboys and cowgirls can visit Garden Bar at Flamingo Las Vegas for drink specials, line-dancing and live rodeo streaming. Garden Bar will also feature MillerCoors rider autograph signings on Dec. 9 and Dec.15 starting at 10 p.m.

Rodeo fans can visit TAG Bar at The LINQ to enjoy daily drink specials as well as MillerCoors rider autograph signings on Dec. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Feel the NFR love at Heart Bar inside Flamingo Las Vegas on Dec. 9 and Dec.16 from 9 p.m. to midnight with drink specials, Jack Daniel’s samples, giveaways and more.

EXTRA Lounge inside Planet Hollywood will be an NFR hotspot with drink specials, tastings and free, live entertainment nightly. Fans can experience autograph signings from their favorite cowboys Dec. 9 and Dec.15 from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Party-goers can visit iBar at Rio Las Vegas for a variety of drink specials and MillerCoors rider autograph signings on Dec. 9 from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que at Treasure Island will offer nightly live entertainment. With performances from Scotty Alexander, Rob Staley, Chancey Williams, Trick Pony and Arnie Newman, Gilley’s is the home of country music during NFR. A $10 cover charge begins at 9 p.m. NFR bull riders will sign autographs at Gilley’s Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

DINING/DRINK SPECIALS

Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS Las Vegas will honor NFR with a decadent 10-course spread. Highlights from the dinner include classic tartare made with beef sirloin, savora mustard, egg yolk, hp sauce and anchovies served with Parker House rolls; Chateaubriand tenderloin from Brandt Beef in California served with Perigord sauce and a pomme soufflé, and croquetas de pollo, chicken béchamel fritters. Cost is $125 per person. 

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is getting into the cowboy spirit for NFR. The restaurant will feature a country lounge singer and a special steak and Jack Daniel’s pairing menu on Dec. 10. Guests can also visit the portable Jack Daniel’s bar for samples from 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 10.

Mr. Lucky's Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will offer the short rib scramble for breakfast ($15), a wedge salad with smoked bacon ($9), barbecue pulled pork grilled cheese ($14), and braised prime pot roast ($19) during NFR.

Pink Taco at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will offer the Cowboy Special ($30), a ghost pepper chili rubbed 14-ounce ribeye, topped with jalapeño relleno and served with a chipotle glazed grilled shrimp skewer, rice and beans and flour tortillas.  

PBR Rock Bar & Grill at the Miracle Mile Shops will offer daily food and drink specials during NFR. Daily drink specials include $7 Crown Royal, $5 Pabst Blue Ribbon and $21 buckets of Coors Light. Enjoy $5 to $7 small plates and two-for-one cocktials during Happy Hour from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Goose Island Pub at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino rodeo menu will feature Beer Cheese Dip ($8) and Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese ($14) with red onion, pickles and Cole slaw. NFR cocktail specials will be available at all casino bars and include Tito’s Sweet Tea ($11), a mix of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and sweet tea; Mule Wrangler ($14), made with Pendleton Whisky, lime juice, Ginger Beer and cranberry juice; and Barrel Racer ($12), crafted with Pendleton Whisky, Kahlúa, cream and Coke.

Cheers to the rodeo with specialty cocktails at Alto Bar, Spanish Steps, and Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Try the Gentleman Caller made with Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack; take a trip with the South Padre Island made with six specialty liquors; enjoy some Southern Hospitality made with Jack Daniel’s; or spice things up with Whiskey Makes Me Frisky. For those seeking a classic cocktail, the Texas Mule and Orange Madness are both great ways to kick off NFR week. Rodeo-goers can also enjoy a bucket of five Coors Banquet Beer or Coors Light for $30. In addition to daily drink specials, Alto Bar will feature a live country DJ from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Alto Bar.

Head to Cabo Wabo Cantina for various drink specials, including $23 beer buckets and a wide selection of tequila shots like Cabo Wabo’s house-made Tequila Anejo. The NFR party continues with live music by Ryan Whyte Maloney, Steven Iverman and Jeremy James. Guests may fuel up for long days at the rodeo with Cabo Wabo’s breakfast selections including the steak and eggs, a marinated sirloin stead, three eggs served any style, paired with a side of sliced tomatoes, priced at $14.95; and the CW eggs Benedict, made with layers of machaca, chorizo and poached eggs on an English muffin, topped with melted pepper-jack cheese and hollandaise, priced at $13.95. Bottomless mimosas and bellinis are also available for $24.99. Breakfast is served daily from 8 to 11 a.m.

Northside Café & Chinese Kitchen at SLS Las Vegas will offer its own NFR surf and turf dinner special, with a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye and sautéed shrimp pairing served with mashed potatoes, green beans, crispy onion strings and homemade barbecue sauce, priced at $34.95.

MB Steak at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will offer steak dinners and bourbon flights throughout NFR. The flight will feature 1-ounce pours of three ultra-premium bourbons: Angel’s Envy, Four Roses Single Barrel and Old Forester, priced at $29. Executive Chef Patrick Munster suggests pairing the Bourbon Cowboy flight with the restaurant’s 28-ounce dry-aged tomahawk steak, prepared with roasted chili rub. Other menu options include a chilled seafood platter with Maine lobster tail, Alaskan King crab, jumbo shrimp and east and west oysters; Colorado lamb chops with toasted barley, escarole and currant lamb jus; and 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon served with MB Steak’s signature steak sauce.

Delmonico Steakhouse inside The Venetian will offer a limited menu of specials based on a whole pig on Dec. 8 and 9. Chef de Cuisine Ronnie Rainwater is receiving a whole pig and butchering it in house, with the goal of making something delicious from every usable part. Menu highlights include smoked mushrooms and home-made tasso cream ($15), mixed house-made sausages and braised red cabbage ($15), pork pastrami with charred Brussels sprouts ($16), country pate ($18), porchetta with charred black kale ($42), marinated pork blade steak ($38), and bourbon bacon and apple upside-down cake ($12). Available a la carte while supplies last.

The Whole Beast Feast is happening Dec. 15 at 16 at Searsucker inside Caesars Palace. Slow-roasted lager-brined hog with all the fixin's will be served for $42 per plate while supplies last. Reservations suggested.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill will celebrate NFR in true Toby Keith style. In addition to the traditional Southern favorites, the restaurant will also feature drink specials, samplings and live country music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly. Stop by for autograph signings from Jack Daniel’s Riders, Rocky McDonald and Beau Hill, on Dec. 8 and 9 at 10 p.m. Fans will also have an opportunity for autographs from Saddle Bronc Riders Dec. 15 beginning at 11:30 a.m. and autographs from MillerCoors riders Dec. 15 and 16 beginning at 10 p.m.

Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que will have multiple drink specials during NFR including:
$8 – Caramel Apple – Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Crown Royal Regal Apple, lemon juice and ginger ale
$9 – The Mule – Your choice of Ketel One Vodka or Crown Royal Whiskey and Ginger Beer
$8 – The Rusty Spur – Crown Royal Whiskey, orange juice, simple syrup, mint and a splash of soda water
$8 – Bite the Bulleit – Bulleit Bourbon, Orange Liqueur, splash of orange juice, splash of cranberry, and simple syrup
$8 – Texas Two Step Margarita – Don Julio, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, agave nectar, sour mix, and Sierra Mist
The GilleyUp – Ketel One Vodka and RockStar Energy Drink

Palace Station is hosting a five-course dinner paring with Crown Royal on Dec. 14 from 6-8 p.m. at The Charcoal Room. Cost is $80 per person, and guests should RSVP to 702-221-6678.

Virgil's Real BBQ is welcoming National Finals Rodeo fans with drink specials, bull rider meet-and-greets and live country music each night of the rodeo from Dec. 7 to 16. Festivities begin with bull rider signings on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Throughout the rodeo, guests can enjoy $6 Crown Royal shots, Crown Royal boot cocktails in 12-oz. glasses for $12 and 46-oz. glasses for $24. The restaurant will also feature Coors beer specials, including $7 cans and $15 boots of beer.

WHERE TO WATCH

The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center will transform into the ultimate watch party destination for NFR. There will be free live-action viewing zones, hearty food options, nightly meet-and-greets with riders and more. Viewing parties will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. each night. Beginning December 7, guests can meet the Wright Family Bronco Riders at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center’s sister property, the D Las Vegas, a sponsor for the family of rodeo stars. The team has continued to dominate saddle bronc riding with world titles and gold buckle wins. To keep up with the action, fans can head to theD.com for The Wright Family’s meet-and-greet schedule.

Head to the Hard Rock Hotel to watch NFR at Good Island Pub or any casino bar. There will also be free nightly shuttle service to and from the Thomas & Mack Center.

This year's NFR will be shown on big screens inside the River and Skydome lounges from 6:45 to 9 p.m. nightly at CasaBlanca and Virgin River hotel-casinos in Mesquite.  

Feel like you’re in the center of the action and watch the live feed of NFR main events at the outdoor Spanish Steps bar at Caesars Palace.  

Harrah’s Piano Bar has transformed into the limited-time Jack Daniel’s Saloon, and is the perfect spot to sing along to favorite tunes, sip on specialty drinks and enjoy a live feed of NFR main events. It will also feature rider autograph signings by Jack Daniel’s Riders, Rocky McDonald and Beau Hill, on Dec. 8 and 9 from 11 p.m. to midnight.

Rodeo fans can stay up-to-date with the action and watch a live feed of the NFR main events nightly at Planet Hollywood’s Race and Sportsbook. Be sure to fuel up at Ringer Wings, Pizza & Sliders, located just steps away.

Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que will stream all the NFR action live starting at 6:45 p.m. daily.

The Orleans will host free viewing parties for NFR. Doors to the Orleans Showroom open at 5 p.m. daily.

MGM Grand will offer guests the opportunity to watch each NFR round live inside the David Copperfield Theater beginning at 5:45 p.m. Swing by and enjoy one of the best rodeo viewing parties in the city. Attendees can enter to win rodeo tickets and other prizes from Wrangler and MGM Grand. Admission is complimentary and seating is first-come, first-served.

Fans looking to watch the NFR action can enjoy live streams projected onto a big screen, with free admission, inside The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. except Dec. 7, 8, 9 and 14. 

Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station and Palace Station are offering live NFR viewing throughout the event casino-wide at each property beginning nightly at 7 p.m. from Dec. 7-16. Pull up a chair and kick up your boots while enjoying a cold one.

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