Vegas goes country for National Finals Rodeo

Rockhouse Cowgirls

Rockhouse Cowgirls

December is just around the corner and that means Las Vegas is about to be invaded by cowboys and country music stars for The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center Dec. 2 – 11.

Besides all of the rodeo action, Vegas becomes a country fan’s dream during the first two weeks of December with entertainment that features the who’s who of country music, country bars full of dancing and special events, and restaurants and bars all over town with dining and drink specials for rodeo fans.

The fun kicks off  with the 24th Annual Downtown Hoedown Dec. 1 at Fremont Street Experience  from 6 p.m. – midnight featuring free concerts by some of country’s hottest acts: Eli Young Band, Jason Jones, Kevin Fowler, Randy Rodgers Band, Stealing Angels and Trailer Choir.

The annual Cowboy Christmas Gift Show is another massively popular event during NFR that runs December 2 – 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Halls. The 300,000-square-foot show floor will feature 400 vendors selling jewelry, Western wear, boots and spurs, furniture, art, crafts and pottery, as well as Official Wrangler NFR and PRCA merchandise. There is free shuttle service from the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show directly to the Thomas & Mack Center for each night’s rodeo and also discounted Las Vegas Monorail tickets for gift show attendees.

Cowboy_surfingThere’s no shortage of country-friendly bars in town and most of them offer dance floors for two-stepping, drink specials during the rodeo, special entertainment and of course, mechanical bulls. Be sure to check out Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar at Harrah’s , Gilley’s at Treasure Island, Stoney’s on South Las Vegas Boulevard, PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood, Cadillac Ranch at Town Square and Revolver at Santa Fe Station.

Entertainment for NFR this year is stellar with all of the biggest names in country music performing all over town. Here’s the lineup of concerts and special events going on for this year’s rodeo:


Clay Walker 10 p.m. 12/3 – 12/4, Golden Nugget

Bill Engvall, 12/2 – 12/3, 12/9 – 12/10, Treasure Island

Easton Corbin, 12/3, Boulder Station and 12/4 at Santa Fe Station

Laura Bell Bundy, 12/3, Silverton Casino Lodge

Travis Tritt, 12/3, Eastside Cannery

Garth Brooks, 12/3 – 12/5, Wynn

Ron White, 12/3 – 12/4, 12/10 – 12/11, The Mirage

Josh Gracin, 12/4, Monte Carlo

Lee Greenwood’s Tennessee Christmas, 12/5, Orleans

Ronnie Milsap, 12/6, Golden Nugget

Cowboy Bill Martin, 12/6 – 12/12, Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at Tropicana

Rodney Carrington, 12/6 – 12/11, MGM Grand

American Country Awards, 12/6, MGM Grand

John Michael Montgomery, 12/7, Golden Nugget

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert

Jason Meadows, 12/8 – 12/11, Palms

Clint Black, 12/9 – 12/10, Golden Nugget

Miranda Lambert, 12/10, Palms


Tacos & Tequila at the Luxor will have a surprise star rider appear for an autograph signing Tuesday, Dec. 9 from noon until 2 p.m. All week long guests will enjoy food and drink specials including T&T’s signature cowboy special, “C&C,” a hearty serving of authentic Mexican-style chili and a Coors original draft. Rodeo lovers will also enjoy NFR commemorative cans of Coors Original along with cowboy games like roping contests, chili eating contests and a sexy jeans competition.

Rockhouse  Bar & Nightclub will offer viewing parties, drink specials and lots of rodeo fun. Fans can catch all of the rodeo action on 28 high-definition television screens throughout the bar and patio. Patrons who present an NFR ticket stub will receive complimentary admission and a drink on the house. Guests will also enjoy $5 Bull Rider shots, a combination of Jack Daniels and Red Bull.

Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood will feature country music and drink specials. Fans will enjoy two-for-one drinks all weekend with their NFR ticket stub. And Cabo Wabo will be serving up $8 Cowboy Cocktails – a Coors Original draft and a shot of Jack Daniels.

A surprise star rider will appear at RHUMBAR  on December 2 for an exclusive autograph signing and photo opportunity. RHUMBAR , located at the Mirage, will have cocktail specials and deals on Coors products.

MGM Grand hosts more than 15 cowboys throughout the 10 days of competition.  The resort will offer guests the opportunity to watch a live telecast each night inside the 740-seat Hollywood Theatre.  Special guest appearances, drink specials, door prizes and giveaways will be available to all WNFR fans in attendance. Fans also can visit the “Gold Buckle Zone” located at Centrifuge bar where World Champion Trevor Brazile’s Championship Gold Buckles and Saddles will be on display throughout the 10-day event. 

The 5th Annual “Rodeo Vegas” event inside The Mirage Race & Sports Book will include nightly live broadcasts of all of the Wrangler NFR action as well as prize drawings and giveaways.  As the Official WNFR After-Party site of the PRCA, “Rodeo Vegas” presents nightly live entertainment over the course of the 10-day WNFR competition with complimentary admission.

 On Saturday, Dec. 11, The Mirage will host the Official Wrangler NFR World Champion Awards Show and 10th Night After-Party which will include a presentation of awards to the 2010 PRCA World Champions and recognition of all WNFR contestants.  The evening will include live performances by select country music artists, exclusive prize giveaways, celebrity appearances and much more.

Monte Carlo will participate in NFR with nightly live broadcasts throughout the resort including inside The Pub as well as in the Race & Sports Book, BRAND Steakhouse and Diablo’s Cantina.  Daily activities including The Cowboy Corral, offering fans a variety of food specials, will be located inside the Buffet from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., while the BBQ Pit will be inside The Pub from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. with Jack Daniel’s drink specials and nightly entertainment.  Drink specials include a 40-oz. Monte Carlo Beer Boot offered to guests at various venues throughout the property beginning at only $15.

 The Pub at Monte Carlo will entertain fans as it looks to crown a Ms. Monte Carlo Rodeo.  Competitions will be held nightly at 11 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4) which include a variety of category prizes ranging from $200 – $1,000 in cash.  WNFR rider jackets and future WNFR performance tickets also will be given away to lucky fans in attendance.  Entry to all rodeo functions including the Bareback Riders’ autograph session Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. is complimentary.  Round-trip complimentary shuttle service from Monte Carlo to each NFR performance also will be provided to all rodeo fans.

Luxor and Excalibur will both join in the 2010 Wrangler NFR action with nightly live broadcasts throughout the two resorts including inside Luxor’s Aurora, Liquidity and Flight as well as Octane and The Lounge at Excalibur.  Luxor’s Pyramid Café will offer menu specials while Tender Steakhouse at Luxor and Excalibur’s Steakhouse at Camelot will feature daily Prix Fixe menus beginning at $29.  Crown Royal and other daily drink specials also will be available at many of the bars and lounges.

Complimentary autograph sessions will be held at both Luxor and Excalibur during the second week of competition.  Luxor is scheduled to host some of the top cowboys including Cody Whitney and Clayton Williams on Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.  The WNFR Barrel Racers will sign autographs for fans Wednesday, Dec. 8 from noon – 1 p.m. at The Lounge at Excalibur.  Top riders including Brittany Pozzi, Lindsay Sears, Sherri Cervi and Jill Moody are scheduled to appear.

The Hard Rock Hotel Saloon, located next to the Hard Rock Store, is broadcasting the NFR with a live satellite feed during the day and features live entertainment and drink specials each evening.

Special musical guest Derek Sholl is providing complimentary performances Dec. 2-5 and 9-11.  In addition, guests may enjoy $20 Bud and Bud Light Bucket specials, full-service bar, country line dancing, live DJs and mechanical bull rides.  Admission is free and open to the public, must be 21 years of age to enter. Live entertainment begins nightly from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.  



It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. DJ Ted at 11:25 am

    Mcfaddens Vegas will be hosting a fun theme parites for the next two weeks in honor of NRF

    10/2 trailer park bash 10/4 mechanical bull riding contest 10/7 cowboy karaoke 10/9 save a horse ride a cowboy 10/11 hillbilly holiday formal

    also jack daniels promo girls and professional riders and even a couple playboy models during there theme parties…

  2. McFadden's Las Vegas at 12:17 pm

    McFadden’s Las Vegas inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino Kicks Off NFR with their Ho’Down Throw Down Party this Saturday December 4th. McFadden’s will provide free shots for those dressed in their best Cowboy & Cowgirl Gear! They will also feature a Mechanical Bull & drink specials all night long!! The party starts @ 8pm with a pre-game open bar thats only $10 for everyone!!!! Come out and show our Mechanical Bull what your made of!!