NFR 2012 brings big names in country music to Vegas

Legendary country act the Charlie Daniels Band heads to Vegas in time for the NFR Dec. 6 - 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Shine up your boots and pull out your prized belt buckles. It’s rodeo time in Vegas! The National Finals Rodeo is coming to town December 6 – 15 for another stellar event at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The NFR made its Vegas debut in 1985 and has continued to attract herds of cowboys, buckle bunnies, and anyone ready to kick up their heels and have a good time. When fans come to Vegas they don’t just get to see an action-packed lineup of competitors in the rodeo. As the Entertainment Capital of the World, Vegas also plays host to some of the top names in country music and entertainment during the 10-day event.

From Shania Twain to Travis Tritt, Rodney Carrington and Randy Travis, you can find them all performing in Vegas during the NFR. Pour another Jack Daniel’s Whiskey and get saddled up for fun and great entertainment this NFR season in Vegas:

Shania Twain
Where: Caesars Palace
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 – 6, 8 – 9, 11 – 12, 14 – 15
Tickets: from $95
Country music star Shania Twain is back in the spotlight in her show “Shania: Still the One.” The show takes fans on a journey through Twain’s career with music, multimedia elements, costumes and a few surprises. Twain’s performance dates during NFR are part of her two-year residency at Caesars Palace. She’s the first country music artist to have a residency at the hotel and casino.

Have a smokin' good time with Ron White in Vegas at the Mirage.

Ron White
Where: Mirage
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 7 – 8
Tickets: from $85.94
Recognized for always performing with his signature glass of scotch and a cigar, Ron White brings big laughs to Vegas. Fans may also know White as “Tater Salad” a nickname he picked up when he was in the Navy. He got his big break when he joined comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry The Cable Guy as part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Since then he has released multiple comedy albums and continues to tour as everyone’s favorite scotch-swilling Southerner.

Bill Engvall
Where: Treasure Island
When: 9 p.m. Dec. 7, 14
Tickets: from $70.40
Country comedian Bill Engvall is also well-known for his work as part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. He has appeared on both television and in movies. He currently hosts “Country Fried Home Videos,” one of the top-rated shows on CMT. On stage, Engvall shares his comedic views of everyday situations to non-stop laughter from his audiences.

Where: Orleans
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 7 – 8
Tickets: from $44
With 20 years of country music hit making to their credit, Lonestar shows no signs of slowing down. After reuniting with their lead singer, Richie McDonald, the group is commemorating their 20-year anniversary with a tour and plans for a new album. Their most recent single, “The Countdown,” was released in 2012.

Soul2Soul with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Where: Venetian
When: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fri. – Sat. Dec. 7, 2012 – April 27, 2013
Tickets: from $183
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw perform together on stage for the first time in six years in their new show “Soul2Soul” at the Venetian. As two of country music’s top-selling artists, McGraw and Hill typically perform in huge arenas to audiences of upwards of 50,000 people. On the Las Vegas Strip, fans will have a chance to see the Grammy Award-winning entertainers in an intimate concert format inside the 1,815-seat Venetian Theatre.

Travis Tritt
Where: Orleans
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 14 – 15
Tickets: from $44
Since his debut in 1989, Travis Tritt has been delighting country music fans with his vast repertoire of chart-topping songs, including “Help Me Hold On,” “Foolish Pride” and “Best of Intentions.” The Grammy Award-winning singer showed off his soulful side with his album “The Storm,” released in 2007. Along with his music career, Tritt has been featured in various films and on television. Some of his movie credits include “The Cowboy Way,” “Sgt. Bilko” and “Fire Down Below.”

LeAnn Rimes
Where: LVH-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 13 – 15
Tickets: from $59.85
Grammy Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes rose to the top of the country music charts when she was only 13. After the release of her debut single, “Blue,” in 1996 Rime was compared to country music legend Patsy Cline. She has sold more than 37 million records worldwide.

During the past 25 years Randy Travis has been the source of some of country music's most iconic songs.

Randy Travis
Where: Goldent Nugget
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 13 – 14
Tickets: from $79.85
Randy Travis released his debut album in 1986. “Storms of Life” was a huge success and started the momentum for Travis’ chart-topping career. His second album, released in 1987, began a streak of seven consecutive No. 1 singles that spanned through 1989. Since then Travis has been a dominant voice in country music.

Rodney Carrington
Where: MGM Grand
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 6 – 15
Tickets: $106.49
Rodney Carrington has been making audiences laugh for almost 20 years with his unique brand of comedy and music. The singer and songwriter amuses audiences with his crude lyrics and light-hearted tunes.

The Charlie Daniels Band
Where: Golden Nugget
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 9 – 10
Tickets: from $68.85
A legendary country music act, The Charlie Daniels Band is responsible for some of the genre’s most popular songs, including “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Uneasy Rider” and Long Haired Country Boy.” The group was a hugely successful act in the late ’70s and early ’80s and continues to be a popular group today.

Jamey Johnson
Where: Riviera
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 14
Tickets: from $29.99
Jamey Johnson made his mark on the music scene in 2005, winning awards for “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” which he co-wrote for Trace Adkins. Johnson went on to receive a Academy of Country Music Song of the Year award for co-writing the George Strait hit “Give It Away.” His most recent album, “Living for a Song: A tribute to Hank Cochran,” was released in September 2012.

You're in for a night of soulful singing and country music hits when Taylor Hicks takes the stage.

Taylor Hicks
Where: Bally’s
When: 7 p.m. Wed. – Thu., Sat. – Mon. Dec. 3 – 16
Tickets: from $45.49
An “American Idol” winner, Taylor Hicks continues to shine on stage with his show in Vegas. He’s the first Idol to have a show as a headliner on the Strip. The showroom at Bally’s gives fans an opportunity to hear Hicks’ soulful singing in an intimate venue with Vegas-style show elements.

Trace Adkins
Where: Riviera
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 15
Tickets: from $44.00
Trace Adkins, a Louisiana native, released his debut album in 1996. It contained his first singles, “There’s A Girl In Texas” and “Every Light In The House.” Since then Adkins has become a country music staple. He recently performed for the 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting where he sang “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.”

The Oak Ridge Boys
Where: Golden Nugget
When: 10 p.m. Dec. 11 – 12
Tickets: from $68.85
The Oak Ridge Boys formed in 1945 and became one of the top gospel music groups in the country. Over the years, the group’s sound evolved to country. Their lineup also changed. In 2011, the band was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. They continue to tour and remain one the music industry’s great all-time bands.

26th Annual Downtown Hoedown
Where: Fremont Street Experience
When: 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5
Tickets: Free
Fremont Street Experience kicks off the NFR with their 26th Annual Downtown Hoedown. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. and features popular country music acts on three different stages located along Fremont Street. The best part is, this event is free. The headlining acts include Dustin Lynch, Uncle Kracker, Jana Mramer and Clay Walker. Here’s the schedule:

  • 6:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Dustin Lynch on 1st Street Stage
  • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Jana Kramer on 3rd Street Stage
  • 9:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Uncle Kracker on 1st Street Stage
  • 10:40 p.m. – 12 a.m. – Clay Walker on 3rd Street Stage

In addition to all the headliner action, there are plenty of other events taking place in Vegas for the NFR from the Downtown Throwdown Barbeque Championships to the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show. Check out the full lineup here.