Five can’t-miss National Western Stock Show events for the CSU community

Since the National Western Stock Show began in 1906, Colorado State University has been there, partnering on everything from livestock exhibitions to highlighting the latest advancements in agriculture. 

For the 2023 event, that collaboration is stronger than ever and one that no CSU alum will want to miss. 

Here are the top five things every Ram fan should see.

Temple Grandin leading the NWSS Parade

Temple GrandinWhat’s more exciting than seeing a true Western cattle drive through the heart of Denver? Seeing it led by Temple Grandin, CSU’s animal science professor and famed author. Serving as grand marshal of the National Western Stock Show Kick-Off Parade, Grandin will lead the parade of more than 30 longhorns, along with horses, cowboys, cowgirls, tractors, marching bands and floats. Grandin is also the subject of an upcoming documentary film, “An Open Door,” to be released in 2023 and filmmakers plan to be on hand to capture the event for the project. 

The parade begins at Union Station and heads down 17th Street to the Brown Palace Hotel at Glenarm Place. Visit for more information.

CSU Day at the Rodeo

While you can find CSU represented any day of the Stock Show, the University will be the main attraction with CSU Day at the Rodeo on Jan. 14. This is a great chance to show off your Ram pride, grab a bite with fellow alumni at the CSU Alumni Association Member Breakfast (8-10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at CSU Spur Hydro. Registration link: and snap a photo with CAM the Ram, who visits the stock show every year with the help of his Ram Handlers (9-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Hall of Education, third floor, CSU Booth and 12-2 p.m. at CSU Spur). 

Still need an incentive? Discounted tickets (Promo code NWSSCSU) are available for CSU Day at the Rodeo, featuring seating in the CSU fan sections. Tickets are good for rodeo events as well as grounds admission for the day, which includes nearly 300 trade show vendors, Mutton Bustin’, National Western nursery, kids’ activities, petting farm and more. Ticket prices range from $21 to $24. Prices offered are not available to the general public. All orders are subject to availability, and prices are subject to change. Questions about tickets can be directed to the groups department at (303) 295-3959.

The opening of Hydro

The final jewel in the CSU Spur’s crown, Hydro is the largest of the three buildings – which include Terra and Vida – in the heart of the emerging National Western Center and just a five-minute walk from the Stock Show. Focused on water and the issues surrounding it, Hydro will continue the offerings of CSU Spur as a free, public learning destination focused on providing a space for researchers and scientists to collaborate and innovate and inviting visitors to watch those professionals at work. 

Open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the National Western Stock Show, the Spur campus will feature ongoing programs, including CAM’s Ag Academy. The hands-on, interactive experience allows young people to learn all about the diverse world of agriculture. 

Celebrate Hydro’s grand opening with a special ribbon cutting at 1:15 p.m. Jan. 6 (Register to attend at

Ag Adventure

CSU’s popular Ag Adventure also returns to the National Western Stock Show. Each year, more than 20,000 guests of all ages engage with this interactive exhibit where CSU College of Agricultural Sciences students serve as Ag Ambassadors, helping people explore the origins of their food — from seed to supermarket. 

This student-led agriculture education exhibit is staffed primarily by CSU student volunteers daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the third floor of the Hall of Education. Educational and fun workshops within the CAM’s Classroom will be held daily (Saturday to Monday every hour from 12:30-4:30 p.m., and Tuesday to Friday every hour 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

Free CSU merch

The CSU Stock Show Activities Passport provides a chance to experience CSU in a new way. After visiting six interactive locations, attendees will receive a stamp on their passport. Completed passports can be turned in at the CSU third floor booth in the Hall of Education or the CSU Spur Hydro building for prizes such as CSU bandanas, Frisbees and straw sets.