Saturday December 14th 2019
Today is the first Saturday since late August that I’ve been able to have breakfast without college football on the TV. Today the only game was the Army Navy game which was on in the afternoon. It is only a brief reprieve. Next week the bowl games will fill take over for a couple of weeks. I really want to get back to a more active Saturday without getting caught up in watching football games on TV.
Today is the last day of the National Finals Rodeo here in Vegas. For the last ten days the Vegas culture has been over loaded with everything cowboy. When driving around you see lots of big horse trailers and the roving billboards all have a cowboy flavor. Walking around you see plenty of cowboy hats and cowboy boots. Little kids are even dressed in rodeo costumes complete with chaps.
The main venue for the Rodeo is the Thomas and Mack Arena at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The south hall of the Convention Center is dedicated to the NFR Experience and Cowboy Christmas. It is filled with entertainment, events for kids and booths that sells everything cowboy and ranch life. I’ve been to the event in the convention center other years, but didn’t go this year. Some of the strip casino hotels have other NFR related vendor exhibits and most of them have viewing parties complete with rodeo celebrities.
Some of the outlying casinos like Sam’s Town have even setup temporary stables in their parking lots. The South Point Casino has an equestrian center, so it has more permanent stables. During the NFR the events in their arena are more rodeo like than dressage. About a mile from my RV home is the Clark County Horse Park. During the NFR it is filled with horse trailers and exercise areas for horses. Several mounted cowboys in the park even made a roundup of several suspects running from the police. The TV News had fun with wild west comparisons.
Las Vegas really does it up big for the NFR. It draws visitors from all over the USA and Canada. Many ranch families use this as an annual vacation event. Most don’t even have tickets to one of the rodeo events, but are here for the other cowboy or ranching related shows and events. The northern ranchers get their ranches ready for winter then go off to Las Vegas before settling in for the long winter. I’m not sure what excuse the Florida cattle ranchers use, but there are plenty of them here as well.
I’m looking forward to the down time for visitors next week. It will give me an opportunity to see some of the sights on the strip and downtown before everything gets busy again after Christmas leading up to New Years. Right after New Years the Consumer Electronics Convention arrives. It’s one of the biggest events of the year.