The return of the National Western Stock Show


On January 8, 2022, The National Western Stock show returned to Colorado after taking a brief hiatus in 2021 due to COVID-19. The event, nicknamed the best 16 days in January, runs from January 8-23 at the National Western Complex in Denver. Throughout the 16 days, there are rodeos, horse and stock shows as well as an abundance of booths to shop at. The event attracts hundreds of thousands of people from over 40 different states.


The return of the event is highly anticipated, but concerns about the ongoing pandemic are lingering. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been spreading throughout Colorado and the world. There has been a spike in cases after the holiday season and Colorado has an average of 14,000 new cases every 7 days as of January 12. 


With an uptick in cases and the start of the popular event, it’s important to know what the NWSS is doing to keep its attendees, staff, and performers safe. According to the NWSS website, the event will be following the Denver mask mandate and requiring masks in all indoor areas of the arena except when attendees are actively eating or drinking or are in the outdoor areas. Hand sanitizer will be widely available throughout the grounds and disposable masks will be available, for free, at the entrances. 


The NWSS is not requiring its guests to provide proof of vaccination to enter the arena after receiving a variance from the Colorado Department of Health. There will be a mobile vaccine bus on the grounds offering free vaccinations, booster, and flu shots on January 13, 20, and 21. 

Blythe Lockwood, a junior at A-West, is taking a field trip to the NWSS with her US History class. She believes the new protocols will change the event to be safer. “ I hope that the COVID policies change the event for the safety of the audience and performers, but not in the sense that the policies take away the joy you get from watching the show.”