The countdown to Elizabeth’s largest and longest-running event is underway. In just over a week, the son of a cowboy-music legend will kick off the four-day event, sending thousands of locals and …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
The Elizabeth Stampede offers a plethora of events from its opening concert to its final rodeo.
• 5 p.m. to 10 pm — Vendor Alley open
• 6:30 p.m. — Gates open
• 7:30 p.m. — Concert, Stoney LaRue and Ned LeDoux
First responders night and Elizabeth Stampede PRCA Rodeo
• 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. — Vendor Alley open
• 5 p.m. — Gates open
• 5:30 p.m. — “Behind The Chutes” tour
• 7 p.m. — Xtreme Bulls
• 9:30 p.m. — Dance band, Christopher Thomas and the Branded, included with rodeo ticket or $10 admission at the door
Two PRCA rodeo performances
• 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — Vendor Alley open
• 10 a.m. — Parade
• Noon — Gates open
• 12:30 p.m. — “Behind The Chutes” tour
• 2 p.m. — “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” rodeo performance
• 7 p.m. — “Together We’re Better” rodeo performance
• 9:30 p.m. — Dance to Dustin Devine and the Real Deal, $10 admission at the door
One PRCA rodeo performance
• 8 a.m. — Cowboy church, west stands
• 8 a.m. — Slack performance, free admission
• 2 p.m. — Red White & Blue Rodeo
• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Vendor Alley open
The countdown to Elizabeth’s largest and longest-running event is underway. In just over a week, the son of a cowboy-music legend will kick off the four-day event, sending thousands of locals and travelers through mutton bustin’, a parade, 50 vendors, carnival rides and bull riding each day.
The Elizabeth Stampede rodeo returns on May 31 for its 54th year, offering all of the excitement and attractions that has earned it the approval of top bull riders and patrons, and some of the highest awards.
“What you’re going to see is one of the best professional rodeos in the nation in that little venue at Casey Jones Park, with the stands nestled in the pine trees, and the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains,” said Jace Glick, Elizabeth Stampede president.
With a competition of 550 other small-market rodeos across the nation, the Stampede has earned the Mountain States Circuit of the Year 16 times, among a number of other esteemed awards.
“We have the best cowboys in the business coming to our tiny rodeo; the baddest, brawniest bulls in the business,” Glick said. “Probably a third of our contestants have been to the big show before.”
The rurally located Stampede attracts professional riders because it starts earlier than most, being one of the first rodeos of the season. Plus, it is renowned for its cowboy hospitality as it feeds the riders and their families and is one of the only small rodeos in the nation to offer free medical assistance in its sports medicine trailer.
“That’s just unheard of, and as a result we truly put on one of the best, unbelievable rodeo shows in the nation,” Glick said. “It’s magical. It’s cool.”
This marks Glick’s third year as president, and the Stampede’s third year bringing in a carnival and concert.
“If you know anything about Chris LeDoux, he’s a cowboy legend. We all grew up on his music,” Glick said of the musician who passed away in 2005. “His son Ned LeDoux is now singing his stuff. That’ll be big this year.”
Board member Joanne Hoefer helped organize this year’s concert, which falls on May 31.
“We think the concert is going to be great this year,” Hoefer said. “Our opening act is Ned LeDoux and our headliner is Stoney LaRue. We have reserved seating as well as standing room, which is down in front of the stage. All tickets are the same price and the concert is open to all ages.”
Although Elizabeth saw glimpses of pony races and cowboy gatherings as far back as the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1937 that the town put on an organized amateur rodeo through the Elizabeth Commercial Association. Other occurrences, like World War II and funding challenges, halted the event over the decades leading up to 1966 when it was then branded Elizabeth Stampede. Since then, the rodeo has grown in size and events every year.
The June 1 rodeo honors first responders. June 2 is filled from morning until night with a parade, “Behind the Chutes” tours and rodeo performances, with proceeds going to the Stampede Foundation.
“We don’t strive in our organization to make money, but to include everyone in our community,” Glick said. “It’s important to share the bounty, so to speak. We take that money and pour it right back into the community.”
June 3 starts with cowboy church and ends with a final rodeo, honoring veterans.
As president, Glick said his favorite aspect of the rodeo is the opportunity to show good leadership by action and not words to his 275 volunteers.
“A beautiful part of that is an amazing amount of awesome friendships and relationships,” Glick said.
But his favorite event as a patron?
“The same thing for most people, bull racing or barrel racing — pretty girls going fast or people climbing up on a big ugly bull.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.