State Fair Events & Rodeo Shows

Cowboy lassos a cow at the Colorado State Fair

Every summer, the Colorado State Fair hosts a wide variety of exciting state fair events & rodeo shows. People from all over the state and beyond buy tickets and take a trip to Pueblo to attend these amazing attractions.

This article will go over the most popular state fair events & rodeo shows at the Colorado State Fair. Some events require separate tickets.

PRCA Ram Rodeo, Calcutta, and Ranch Rodeos

Rodeo shows are the oldest and most classic attractions at the Colorado State Fair, and for a good reason. The stakes are high, the thrill is intense, and riders are challenged to the limit in this popular Western sport.

Rodeos comprise a variety of different events. The following are the most popular:

Tie-down (also known as roping)

Tie-down roping is an event where a cowboy attempts to lasso a calf — temporarily restraining it in time to jump off his horse, wrestle it to the ground, and quickly tie its legs to prevent it from bolting away. If calf roping sounds complex, that’s because it is. It requires precise aim, flawless technique, and significant strength. So it’s pretty impressive to see a skilled cowboy accomplish it.

Several cowboys participating in steer wrestling at the Colorado State Fair

Team roping

As opposed to calf roping, where the goal is to lasso and tie down the calf, in team roping, two cowboys work together to restrain a calf. One cowboy lassoes the horns while the other lassoes the back legs at the same time. If done correctly, the animal is restrained from both sides, and the cowboys succeed. However, team roping requires incredible coordination and teamwork, and precise aim from both players, making it particularly exciting to watch, especially if you appreciate team sports that require precision and skill.

A horse without a rider at the Colorado State Fair

Steer wrestling

Steer wrestling is a jaw-dropping sport that is far more complicated than the name suggests. In steer wrestling, a mounted cowboy must chase after a steer at full speed. Once his horse and the steer are running side-by-side, the cowboy must leap off of his horse and onto the steer, grabbing its horns, turning, and lifting it to one side. This requires incredible strength, skill, and coordination to pull off successfully, and the risk is high. Steer wrestlers must have enough momentum to leap off their horse and use a good enough technique to gain leverage over the steer. However, if they fail, they’ll fall off of the fast-moving animal and take a severe tumble.

Bareback riding

In bareback riding, specially-bred horses have been carefully trained to buck anyone who tries to ride them. While they’re not technically wild “feral” horses, you wouldn’t know it by looking at them; these horses buck hard! The cowboy’s control throughout the ride, the length of his spurring stroke, and how hard the horse bucks account for the final score. Of course, this makes them a nightmare for anyone who dares to ride them, but it also makes for an incredible show to watch — especially when a brave cowboy succeeds.

A cowgirl in a red shirt barrel racing at the Colorado State Fair

Bull riding

Considered the riskiest and most challenging sport in rodeo, bull riding is known as “the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.” Unlike bronc riding, where riders are allowed to hold on with two hands, bull riders can only hold onto the animal with one hand as it tries to buck them off. An arduous task, to say the least. Only the strongest, toughest, and bravest cowboys can make it through a full eight seconds on top of this one-ton muscle machine as this magnificent creature tries to throw them from its back. Not for the faint of heart but an exciting choice for thrill-seekers.

Barrel racing

A favorite among horse lovers, barrel racing, is an event that challenges both the horse and the rider to the limit. The objective is for the horse to race around three barrels, circling each before moving on to the next and running around the track in a “clover” pattern. To bound around the barrels, the horse needs to have incredible agility, and the rider needs to be in total control to avoid knocking the barrel over as it circles it. Points are deducted if a barrel is knocked over (which is a common mistake to make). Unlike the other rodeo shows (at this time in the U.S.) all sanctioned barrel racers are cowgirls, making it one of the main attractions among female rodeo fans. Additionally, the horses are fast and victory is often as narrow as a hundredth of a second.

Motorsports

If you’re an adrenaline seeker who loves action, the Toughest Monster Truck Tour and Demolition Derby will give you a thrilling show you’ll never forget!

The Dirt Crew monster truck driving high off a ramp and catching some air at the Colorado State Fair

Toughest Monster Truck Tour

In the Toughest Monster Truck Tour, various massive monster trucks rev their engines, drive off of ramps at top speed, and perform incredible tricks and stunts. A spectacle to behold! Each monster truck has a unique name and theme. Popular contenders in the past include such names as “Outlaw,” “Bounty Hunter,” and “Barbarian,” among many others. Watch them compete and decide for yourself which monster truck you like best!

Demo Derby

Demo Derby is an adrenaline-filled free-for-all where drivers ram into their opponents’ vehicles with the goal of totaling them. Drivers must inflict as much damage as possible to their opponents’ vehicles without sustaining too much damage themselves. Drivers lose when their cars are totaled and can no longer go on or when they surrender by waving a surrender flag attached to their door. The last man standing wins! All drivers wear plenty of safety gear, and various rules and practices are in place to ensure that drivers stay safe. If you’re a fan of action and can tolerate the hair-raising destruction, Demo Derby is an action-packed event that’s an excellent choice for adrenaline seekers.

Man in a yellow shirt standing on a table enjoying live music at the Colorado State Fair

Live Music & Concerts

Throughout the years, some of the biggest stars in the country have performed at the Colorado State Fair. Whether you’re a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, country, rap, or anything in between, you’re likely to find a concert that suits your taste with performances from a wide variety of genres.

Free Concerts

In addition to paid performances, there will be 4-5 free stages with live music and entertainment. Enjoy all of the free state fair events & rodeo shows with your Colorado State Fair & Rodeo admission ticket.

Paid Ticket Concerts

For paid concerts, there are two music stadiums at the Colorado State Fair – the Southwest Motor Events Center (for indoor concerts) and the Bud Light Grandstand (for outdoor performances).

 

The Southwest Motors Events Center

A comfortable and climate-controlled indoor stadium, the Southwest Motors Events Center hosts a wide variety of events, including various sports such as basketball, football, and wrestling matches and, of course, live music. The variety of concerts you’ll find here are extensive. Unlike the Bud Light Grandstand, which usually (but not always) caters to country music stars, you’ll find every type of genre at the Events Center.

The 2021 lineup includes top performers such as:

 

Jon Pardi at the Colorado State Fair

Jon Pardi

Winner of the “New Artist of the Year” and “New Male Vocalist of the Year” awards, Jon Pardi the go-to artist of choice for those who enjoy raw and authentic country music without the frills.

Performance Dates:

SEPTEMBER 03, 2021
Show | 7pm // Doors | 5:30pm
Colorado State Fair – Event Center

Buy Jon Pardi Tickets


Nelly at the Colorado State Fair

Nelly

With a successful 20+ year career, 3 billion combined views, and nearly 4 million subscribers on YouTube, Nelly is one of the most popular and bestselling rap artists in the world.

Performance Dates:

SEPTEMBER 04, 2021
Show | 7pm // Doors | 5:30pm
Colorado State Fair – Event Center

Buy Nelly Tickets


George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Colorado State Fair

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

With over 45 years since its inception, George Thorogood and the Destroyers have sold over 15 million albums and are still going at full speed.

Performance Dates:

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021
Show | 7pm // Doors | 5:30pm
Colorado State Fair – Event Center

Buy George Thorogood Tickets


The Bud Light Grandstand

When the rodeo’s not in session, the Bud Light Grandstand also provides a famous arena for top performers (usually country stars) to come and serenade the crowd in this large-scale outdoor venue. Many rodeo lovers are also fans of country music, making it the perfect place for both events. A great outdoor live music experience on a warm summer day!

The country stars who will be performing at the Bud Light Grandstand in 2021 include:

 

Casey Donahew at the Colorado State Fair

Casey Donahew

Casey Donahew has reached #1 single on various music charts 21 times in his career. No fancy electric instruments, no autotune or overly-polished editing, just raw and real country music from one of Texas’ top country stars.

Performance Dates:

AUGUST 27, 2021
Show | 7pm // Doors | 6pm
Colorado State Fair – Bud Light Grandstand

Buy Casey Donahew Tickets


Dustin Lynch at the Colorado State Fair

Dustin Lynch

A famous young star, Dustin Lynch, is an excellent modern-style country singer with strong appeal to both younger and older audiences. His style has hints of rock and pop without the intense southern twang.

Performance Dates:

AUGUST 28, 2021
Show | 7pm // Doors | 6pm
Colorado State Fair – Bud Light Grandstand

Buy Dustin Lynch Tickets


Diamond Rio at the Colorado State Fair

Diamond Rio

Nearly forty years since they started, the six-man band Diamond Rio has won numerous “Vocal Group of the Year” awards. Diamond Rio is a country band with little bluegrass and rock influences. Later adopting a style similar to the Christian country and country-pop genres and getting away from the harder rock sound they used to have.

Performance Date:

AUGUST 29, 2021
Show | 5pm // Doors | 4pm
Colorado State Fair – Bud Light Grandstand

Buy Diamond Rio Tickets


People riding horses in a line and holding flags

Fun State Fair Events & Rodeo Shows This Summer

The 2021 Colorado State Fair will be held from August 27 – September 6. If you’re looking for a fun and exciting thing to do this summer, you won’t want to miss out on the state fair events & rodeo shows, motorsports, and live music at the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo!

Visit us at 1001 Beulah Ave in Pueblo, or give us a call at +1 719-561-8484 for more information. We look forward to seeing you here!

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