This year’s National Western Stock Show has come and gone, but before its gates closed Sunday until next January, more than half a million people in cowboy boots, buckles and hats took in the show.
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Despite hosting 586,756 people over a 16-day period, attendance was down 18% from previous record-breaking years prior to the pandemic, organizers said.
“We have been fortunate to see record-breaking attendance year after year, prior to the pandemic,” said Paul Andrews, the president and CEO of the show. “Today we are grateful to have hosted this epic event. We are blown away by the support and outreach from the nearly 600,000 guests who came back to celebrate the western lifestyle that is so important to so many.”
Organizers canceled the stock show in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns, marking only the second cancellation since its inception in 1906.
Although attendance dropped, the amount of money gained during the auctions broke records, with bidders spending $1.1 million, $110,000 more than the previous record.
The top eight champions for the Junior Livestock Auction accounted for nearly half of the total as the animals brought in over $510,000. The grand champion steer sold for a record $160,000, organizers said.
Other events such as the Citizen of the West dinner and Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale also earned an estimated $800,000.
All three are major funding events for the National Western Scholarship Trust, which provides scholarships to exhibitors and others who attend colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming.
One hundred and ten scholarships were funded through the trust this year and range between $2,500 and $15,000, organizers said.
Source: Denver Gazette