Top 10 Things to do at NFR 2022!
Beginning the last week of November, Las Vegas, Nevada will turn into a sea of cowboys and cowgirls from across the country for two weeks as the NFR 2022 kicks off. With the National Finals Breakaway Roping starting Tuesday, November 28, and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) starting Thursday, December 1, you will have the opportunity to watch the best of the best in the sport of rodeo compete!
While of course, you won’t want to miss out on watching the finals performances, there are also so many other events taking place to stay busy and have a blast during your stay in Vegas. In no particular order, here are our top 10 things to do during the 2022 NFR!
Benny Binion’s World Famous Bucking Horse and Bull Sale and Permit Member of the Year Challenge
Benny Binion’s World Famous Bucking Horse and Bull Sale will take place in conjunction with the PRCA Permit Member of the Year Challenge, the United Bucking Horse Association (UBRA) Futurity Finals and the Stace Smith World Futurity Bronc Finale at the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center December 1 and 2.
12 bareback horses, 12 saddle bronc horses and 24 bulls will be bucked and sold at the permit challenge at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, December 1, where the top five PRCA permit members in each PRCA event will compete (top 10 bull riders). In the UBRA Futurity Finals, the top 10 two-year-old colts and top 15 three-year-old colts will be bucked with a dummy and sold prior to the permit challenge at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. On Friday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m., the Stace Smith World Futurity Bronc Finale will feature the top four- and five-year-old saddle bronc horses in North America, as well as a match bronc riding.
For ticket information, visit southpointarena.com!
BFO Las Vegas Championships
At Resorts World Las Vegas on December 2-3 and 8-10, the best bullfighters in the world will compete in a tournament style Bullfighters Only competition against some of the fiercest fighting bulls for over $100,000 in cash prizes and the World Champion title. The action-packed event will have performances starting at 1:30 p.m.
For ticket information, visit https://www.bullfightersonly.com/!
Cowboy Christmas and Junior World Finals
Open December 1-10 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Cowboy Christmas is the only official gift show of the NFR. What became a Las Vegas tradition in 1986, it features more than 500,000 square feet of show floor and more than 350 exhibitors. In addition to western wear, jewelry, furniture, original art, handmade crafts, home goods, etc., Cowboy Christmas is home to the Ariat Rodeo Live Stage and the YETI Junior World Finals. The Ariat Rodeo Live Stage features the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) Calcutta, Outside the Barrel with Flint Rasmussen and Cowboy Revival with Shane Minor. In the Wrangler Rodeo Arena, on the second floor in the South Hall, you can take a break from shopping to support some of the most talented young rodeo athletes. For a schedule of rodeo events, visit https://www.nfrexperience.com/cowboychristmas/features/wrangler_rodeo_arena.
Admission to Cowboy Christmas is free; but for more information, visit https://www.nfrexperience.com/cowboychristmas/!
Cowboy Marketplace and Country Christmas
For more shopping during the day before each NFR performance, you can check out the Roper Cowboy Marketplace and the Stetson Country Christmas from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily December 1-10. The Roper Cowboy Marketplace is held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and the Stetson Country Christmas is held at Rio Las Vegas.
Both of these trade shows are free to enter; but for more information, visit https://www.cowboymarketplace.vegas/show-info and https://www.countrychristmas.vegas/faq!
World Series of Team Roping and South Point Western Gift Show
Beginning December 3 and running through December 11, the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale XVI will take over the South Point Hotel & Casino. Since its inception in 2006, the Finale remains the premier team roping event that hosts over three thousand contestants and horses throughout its nine day run. While you’re out watching your favorite amateur team ropers, you can also do some shopping at the South Point Western Gift Show, which is open daily December 1-11 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For the WSTR Finale schedule, visit https://wstroping.com/finale-schedule.aspx!
All In Barrel Race and Breakaway
Taking place the entire duration of the NFR, the All In Barrel Race and Breakaway will be at the Orleans Arena. December 1-3 will be Race 1 featuring an Open 5D with a youth championship and average; and December 8-11 will be Race 2 featuring an Open 5D with futurity, adult championship, senior championship, derby, and average. Breaking up the two barrel races will be the All In Breakaway featuring an Open 3D with a youth championship, adult championship, and senior championship.
This will be one of the premier places to watch some talented cowgirls compete in Vegas. The event is open to the public with free admission, but for more information visit https://lvbarrelrace.com/ and https://www.allinbreakaway.com/!
NFR 2022 Tailgate Parties
In addition to all the excitement at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cowboy Christmas throughout the day, the Cowboy Channel NFR Tailgate Party will be held and broadcast from the Ariat Rodeo Live Stage daily from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. This is a high-energy show that you will want to stop by and catch during your time in Vegas! And, if you’re not in town to go hang out each day, you can join in on this fun show from home on the Cowboy Channel!
The RAM Rodeo Tailgate Party will be held at the South Point Convention Center, and it will feature fun, socializing, etc. before each NFR performance, as well as during. From 5:00 to 10:00 p.m., you can check out this tailgate party with free admission, as well!
Nightly Buckle Presentations
After each of the first nine NFR performances, go-round buckles will be presented at the South Point Showroom beginning at 9:30 p.m. This nightly event will be hosted by Flint Rasmussen and Joe Beaver, and it is open to the public with free admission. In conjunction with the buckle presentations, there will be concerts each night: Chancey Williams on December 1-3, Aaron Watson on December 4-7 and Randall King on December 8-10. These will also be broadcast on the Cowboy Channel for those that can’t make it out each night!
Just because you don’t have tickets to each NFR performance doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time in Vegas and still watch all the rodeo action taking place at the Thomas & Mack! With a full list of viewing parties, there are plenty of opportunities to choose which one suits you best and go cheer on your favorite cowboys and cowgirls. Each of the viewing parties listed below have free admission and take place each night.
Free Viewing Part at the Tropicana every night with food and drink specials plus live entertainment!
- Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Official Wrangler NFR Viewing Party – Opens at 4:00 p.m. and includes live concerts.
- NFR After Dark at Westgate Las Vegas – Opens at 4:00 p.m. and includes concerts and live entertainment.
- Boyd’s Rodeo Viewing Party at The Orleans Bourbon Street Lounge – Opens at 5:45 p.m. and is hosted by Jody Carper. (21 & up)
- Gary Leffew’s Buckaroo Ball at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center – Opens at 5:00 p.m. and features dancing and pool tables.
- Gilley’s Saloon at Treasure Island – Opens at 5:00 p.m. and features live entertainment and drink specials. (All ages and free admission until 9:00 p.m.)
- The Mirage Presents Rodeo Vegas – Opens at 5:45 p.m. and includes live concerts and giveaways. (21 & up)
- MGM Grand Gold Buckle Zone – Includes live concerts.
The entertainment around Vegas during the NFR 2022 is unmatched. If you want to see some of the hottest and most legendary country music artists in concert, you’ll have the opportunity this December! Artists playing while you’re in town for the rodeo include George Strait, Aerosmith, Miranda Lambert, Ryan Bingham, Cody Johnson, Lynyrd Skynyrd and so many more.
For a full entertainment lineup, check out https://www.nfrexperience.com/entertainment_around_town!
We’ll see you out and about at the NFR 2022 soon!
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