Cowboy Christmas scored again at the turnstiles, bringing record crowds to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Total attendance reached 216,292, besting the previous record attendance of 200,179 set in 2014. The overall record attendance also included five individual day attendance records set on Dec. 4, 8 and 10-12.
Cowboy Christmas opened on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Halls and ran for ten consecutive days, culminating on Saturday, Dec. 12. The show was open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and offered free admission. To add to the overall experience, RMEF’s Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo was co-located upstairs in the South Halls from Cowboy Christmas.
The RMEF Hunter & Outdoor Christmas Expo attracted 86,940 attendees over the ten days.
“This year’s attendance reinforces the evolution of the experience at Cowboy Christmas,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. “In addition to the great shopping, the attractions held in the Wrangler Rodeo Arena, including Bullfighters Only, Mini Bucking Bulls and the Roy Cooper Vegas Invitational 2015 among others, and Rodeo Live presented by RODEOHOUSTON – highlighted by ‘Outside the Barrel’ with Flint Rasmussen – created a new energy. Our partnership with RMEF resulted in a total attendance of 303,232 and provided fans with yet another way to enjoy the NFR experience.”
Launched in 1986 and designated as the only official Gift Show of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Cowboy Christmas featured more wares to keep even the most avid shopper entertained all ten days. With just under 450,000 square feet of show floor and approximately 315 exhibitors from across the United States, Cowboy Christmas showcased unique products, including custom-made jewelry, western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, original art, handmade crafts and home goods. Attendees also found the best source for the official Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and PRCA merchandise.
In addition to shopping, there were numerous interactive elements for rodeo fans, including Rodeo Live presented by RODEOHOUSTON,Coors Rodeo Saloon, Lucas Oil Rodeo Way exhibits, Wrangler Rodeo Arena, NFR Social Arena presented by YETI Coolers, Great Wall of Rodeo presented by Calgary Stampede and more.
Gold, Silver and Bronze buckle level sponsors included Academy of Country Music, Bloomer Trailers, Browning, B&W Trailer Hitches, Calgary Stampede, Coors, Crown Royal, Fine Entertainment, RODEOHOUSTON, Lucas Oil, NV Energy, Priefert, PrimeSport, Purina, Pro Fantasy Rodeo, Ram Rodeo, RFD-TV, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Signature Quarters, Star Nursery, Total Feeds, Inc., Wrangler, YETI Coolers and Zappos.com.
Cowboy Christmas runs concurrently with the Wrangler NFR, which culminated its 31st year in Las Vegas on Saturday evening at the Thomas & Mack Center. Sold out for 290 consecutive performances, the Wrangler NFR attracts the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Under the new contract with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association that runs through 2024, the purse in 2015 was $10 million. Qualification was based on the 2015 PRCA World Standings.
For more information on the Wrangler NFR and Cowboy Christmas, please visit www.NFRexperience.com or through social media at /LasVegasNFR and use #WranglerNFR.
text contributed by Las Vegas Events