You might be wondering what kind of Christmas could possibly be on the calendar for cowboys in July. The truth is, every year on the weekend of July 4th is one of the busiest and most profitable weekends of the rodeo season and it’s referred to as “Cowboy Christmas”. Cowboys and cowgirls alike are making a mad dash to hit some of the largest paid events of the season.
The difference of missing just one of these rodeos could end up in losing your spot in the rankings within a matter of days. To give you just a small idea, on any normal weekend, there are anywhere from 15-17 rodeos taking place every Friday-Sunday. There are over 30 rodeos taking place on July 1st-3rd alone, which is what would be considered the official “Cowboy Christmas” but contestants are traveling that whole week.
Below I have highlighted some of the most prestigious rodeos that cowboys and cowgirls have their eye on in order to move the needle in their earnings.
Cody Stampede Rodeo
July 1 – 4, 2022 | Cody, Wyoming | codystampederodeo.com
This year will be the 103rd anniversary of the Cody Stampede Rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. Contestants will compete for over $400,000 in prize money. The rodeo capital of the world promises nothing but the best in entertainment. In addition to the tried and true Cody Stampede, you can also enjoy the nightly Cody Nite Rodeo which runs every night June-August. The Cody Nite Rodeo has been running since 1938 and continues to be one of the best places for rodeo in the west.
Prescott Frontier Days: World’s Oldest Rodeo
June 28 – July 4, 2022 | Prescott Arizona | worldsoldestrodeo.com
The world’s oldest rodeo in Prescott, Arizona has been putting on a show since 1888. The very first sanctioned “cowboy contest” was held on July 4th of that year. Since that day professional rodeo has evolved and grown into the massive organization it is today. If you’re trying to decide what to do for the 4th of July weekend, this is the place to be!
Prescott Rodeo is known for its 10 days of rodeo action with some of the best names in the business coming south to kick off their start to Cowboy Christmas. In addition to being the world’s oldest rodeo, Prescott is also one of Arizona’s largest rodeos competing with the likes of Tucson and Scottsdale Rodeo.
St. Paul Rodeo
July 2 – 6 | St. Paul, Oregon | stpaulrodeo.com
The St. Paul Rodeo in Oregon is another great rodeo to attend on the July 4th weekend. The St. Paul Rodeo is dedicated to the sport and to helping the community. Their foundation has donated to numerous organizations including the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, Wounded Warrior Project, and NHSRA, just to name a few.
What makes St. Paul Rodeo so special is how dedicated they are to not only producing a top-notch show but also preserving and celebrating their western heritage.
June 23rd- July 4th, 2022 | Greeley, Colorado | greeleystampede.org
The Greeley Stampede is an exciting time in Colorado. They have some great entertainment lined up for you this year including Brett Eldredge, Cody Johnson, and Brothers Osborne. On the 4th of July they’ll have a bullfighting event at 1 pm, but be sure and stay for the fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
June 27 – July 3, 2022 | Ponoka, Alberta | ponokastampede.com
It’s colorful, it’s famous and it’s known as being one of the top 10 rodeos in the world. It’s the Ponoka Stampede! Famous for its Chuckwagon racing, people come from all over North America to attend the Stampede, taking place June 27 – July 3 this year. It is the largest Canadian Professional Cowboy Association Approved Rodeo, and attracts the top competitors in both Canada and North America each year.
Folsom Pro Rodeo
July 1 – 3, 2022 | Folsom, California | folsomprorodeo.com
Taking place the first three days of July, Folsom Pro Rodeo is one to add to your bucket list. Over the course of the July 4th weekend, Folsom will welcome over 21,000 attendees. After taking a hiatus during Covid, Folsom is ready to kick open the chutes and have one of their best years yet. If you want to attend, make sure to purchase your tickets early because they are anticipating a sold-out show before the gates even open.
Annual Fourth of July Celebration
July 2 – 4, 2022 | Window Rock, Arizona
A Navajo Nation tradition is the Annual Fourth of July Celebration held in Window Rock, AZ. Rodeo fans can see the wild west come alive during a wild horse competition, which will be held in conjunction with the PRCA Rodeo on July 4th. Approximately 400 contestants from throughout the world will compete for prize money. The Fourth of July Celebration will also include a carnival and a professional fireworks display on July Fourth.
While this is only a small portion of the rodeos that take place over Cowboy Christmas, I encourage you to check to see if there’s a rodeo near you! If you’re a fan of rodeo and have been keeping an eye on the athlete standings, then it’s time to start paying attention because chances are we are going to see some big moves over the next couple of weeks!
Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine
This article was created for the Summer Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early April. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.
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