There's non-stop, rip-roarin' cowboy action in store for rodeo fans at Estes Park's annual Rooftop Rodeo, a PRCA sanctioned event and one that has been recognized as the best small rodeo in the nation along with being named the top medium-sized rodeo in the Midwest. Nightly professional rodeo performances combine with Mutton Bustin' competition for the kids, a parade through downtown Estes Park and dance during the annual affair.
The 10:30 am Rooftop Rodeo Parade on Tuesday, July 8 kicks off the six-day event when entries make their way from the west end of town on Elkhorn Avenue (Estes Park's main street) to Fourth St. on their way to the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park, adjacent to Lake Estes at U.S. Highway 36 and Community Drive. The parade traditionally features hundreds of horses, marching units, hitches, cowboys and cowgirls, floats, and antique cars.
On Saturday, July 12, get out your dancing shoes and pearl-snaps for the country-western Queen's Dance where everyone dances up a storm. This annual event is held from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am at the Estes Park Event Center at the Fairgrounds. Admission to the dance is $12 and there is a cash bar. Free local shuttle service (Silver Route) runs until 10 p.m. and taxi services are available for safe rides home.
Behind the Chutes Tours offer an exclusive behind-the scenes look at all the rodeo action and are scheduled for 4:30 and 5:30 pm each night. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children three- to 11-years old, and can be purchased online. In 2013, these tours sold out each night, so get your tickets early. Groups of 20 or more may make arrangements for special tours (call 970-577-3920).
Gates to midway fun open at 5:30 pm. Come early to snag the best seats, shop with a variety of vendors and grab a bite to eat. time with face painting, Western music and more. Evening kick-off performances start at 7 pm each night and rodeo events begin at 7:30 pm at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. Including Riatta Ranch Girls, a show of trick riding and roping! Mutton Bustin' happens each night at 8:30 and a Calf Scramble is held at 9 pm on weekend nights.
Wednesday, July 9 is Tough Enough to Wear Pink night, where everyone is encouraged to wear pink to show their support for cancer awareness. All proceeds of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink merchandise (available in the rodeo midway) will go to a local charity.
Both general admission and box seat tickets are available for each rodeo performance. General admission seats are not reserved and prices are $17 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-11. Box seat tickets are $25 for all ages when purchased for one night. Reduced rates for seniors, active military and groups are available. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.