The Wrangler NFR is returning to Las Vegas for 2021 — and we’ve rounded up all you need to do and see both in and out of the arena.
Wrangler NFR is back in Vegas, baby! After the temporary move to Texas last year, the rodeo and Western worlds are getting ready for the return of 10 days of championship rodeo, epic holiday shopping, and world-class entertainment to the NFR’s official hometown.
Wrangler NFR action culminates each evening from December 2-11 at the Thomas & Mack Center, but there is so much beyond the rodeo arena that will keep visitors busy and happy. This guide will help you plan your fun-packed days and glitzy rodeo nights. For more information and to dig deeper into any of the events in this section, bookmark NFRexperience.com, and visit cowboysindians.com for more as NFR season ramps up.
Stay Your Way
Wondering where to pull off your boots and relax when you’re not out shopping or at the rodeo? Here are the hottest spots for lodging — find out more about the special NFR events and official activities and appearances planned at each property by visiting NFRexperience.com/StayYourWay
Home to eclectic dining options and the Forum Shops
Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
Steps away from Fremont Street, home of the annual Downtown Hoedown
Gold Coast Hotel & Casino
Rodeo parties and drink specials
Country concerts and barrel racer events at one of Vegas’ classic properties
Home of the Carnival Court nightly street party
Home of Cowboyville with live nightly entertainment
Home of Gold Buckle Zone with nightly entertainment
Mirage Resort & Casino
Home of Rodeo Vegas, NFR’s official after party
New York-New York Hotel & Casino
Viewing parties and live shows
Orleans Hotel & Casino
Rodeo viewing and after parties
Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino
Dining options including Gordon Ramsay Burger and Koi
Plaza Hotel & Casino
Home of the RFWA Expo; equine stalls available with security and vet services
Adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center
Rio Hotel & Casino
Home of Stetson Country Christmas Western Gift Expo
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall
All-ages rodeo viewing parties
Silverton Casino Hotel
The home of C&I’s nightly viewing parties with live music
South Point Hotel Casino & Spa
Official NFR Buckle Award Ceremony and CINCH Western Gift Show
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
“Faded Karaoke” and NFR team roper appearances
Free rodeo watch parties each night
Treasure Island/TI Hotel & Casino
Houses Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & BBQ
Tropicana Las Vegas
Free rodeo watch parties each night
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Home of the Cowboy Revival show
Shopping & Experiences
The Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas
Wrangler NFR’s premier gift show has 350-plus exhibitor booths featuring the West’s best in clothing, artwork, jewelry, furniture, and more. There are also rodeo events, entertainment, and lots of food and beverages inside the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s free to enter and open to all, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily, December 2–11.
For the Early Birds
The show will also be open a night early on December 1, with evening hours from 5–10 p.m. — making it the first time in 35 years that attendees will have the opportunity to shop at night. There will even be a tree-lighting ceremony.
Ariat Rodeo Live Stage
Stay in-the-know with daily programming hosted by rodeo experts and entertainers. Kick off each day with “The RMEF Cowboys for Conservation Calcutta” followed by Flint Rasmussen’s “Outside the Barrel” then “Cowboy Revival” hosted by Shane Minor. After that, wrap things up with the NFR Tailgate Party’s 2-plus hour show.
Presented by Resorts World Las Vegas, NFR Central will be the place to be with new elements including a live DJ, a series of panels, autograph sessions, giveaways, and the first-ever Rockin’ Rodeo Runway presented by Boot Barn. Plus: Fallon Taylor’s Ranch Dress’n and Dale Brisby will be located on either side of NFR Central.
Swing By C&I
Y’all didn’t think the premier magazine of the West would miss out on the Super Bowl of Rodeo, did ya? We’ll be at Cowboy Christmas with C&I-branded merchandise, magazine gift subscriptions, and all the details on our rodeo viewing and after parties at the Silverton (see more below).
Our Shopping Recommendations: Find these Western-lifestyle vendors at Cowboy Christmas and tell ’em we sent you!
The Bohlin Company (bohlinmade.com), Brit West (britwest.net), Chuck’s Woodbarn (chuckswoodbarn.com), Fenoglio Boot Company (fenoglioboot.com), HYO Silver (hyosilver.com), Justin Brands (justinbrands.com), Reads Jewelers (readsjewelers.com), Rhonda Stark (rhondastark.com), Rocketbuster Handmade Custom Boots (rocketbuster.com), Rocki Gorman (rockigorman.com), Rockwell Tharp (rockwelltharp.com), The Sparkling Spur (thesparklingspur.com), Stone Feather Road (stonefeatherroad.com), The Windmill Ceiling Fan Co (windmillceilingfans.com), YaYa Gurlz (yayagurlz.com)
World Class Entertainment
Wrangler NFR Action
The official rodeo events and performances run from 5:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. each evening December 2 – 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Find out more at NFRexperience.com.
To-Do List: Country Music On Stage
Reba and Brooks & Dunn will team up at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace December 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11.
George Strait brings his annual NFR shows back to T-Mobile Arena December 3 and 4.
Shania Twain kicks up her heels at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood December 2, 4, 5, 9, and 11.
Aaron Watson brings his Texas tunes and showmanship to South Point December 2-5.
Carrie Underwood hits the high notes at The Theatre at Resorts World December 3, 4, 8, 10, and 11.
Jason Aldean checks in at the Park Theater at Park MGM December 9-11.
Dierks Bentley will get them swooning at The Cosmopolitan December 10 and 11.
Find more options at nfrexperience.com/entertainment_around_town.
Party With C&I
Cowboys & Indians magazine returns to Wrangler NFR with its own nightly viewing and after-parties at the Silverton Casino & Hotel. It’s the best and most comfortable seat in town — and it’s free. Each night there will be live NFR rodeo viewing on the big screen followed by live music onstage, with drink and food specials throughout. Our special BEST OF THE WEST party takes place December 9, so get all gussied up.
An outstanding country singer-songwriter in his own right who happens to be the son of late rodeo and music legend Chris LeDoux. nedledoux.com
Jenn Ford Band
Performs tunes such as “Baby Get Your Boots On” and “John Wayne Smile” jennfordmusic.com
The Randy Brown Show
A true Texas troubadour and a fantastic host. randybrownmusic.com
Popular Texas artist behind “A Cowboy Can” and “Brand New Whiskey” joshwardmusic.com
From our November/December 2021 issue
Photography: (Reba and Brooks & Dunn) courtesy Reba.com; (Ned LeDoux) courtesy the Silverton Hotel & Casino; (All others) courtesy Las Vegas Events