Numbers count in Estes Park

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Thousands of fans see many great things each year at Rooftop Rodeo

Hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls will converge on Estes Park for this year’s Rooftop Rodeo, which will be showcased in front of thousands of fans over six days.

ESTES PARK, Colo. – Just hearing the name of the town conjures up incredible memories for millions of people who have found their way to this destination community over the years.

Of course, the valley is encapsulated by the majesty that is this part of Colorado, and it serves as the pathway in and out of Rocky Mountain National Park. The beauty that surrounds Estes Park is a major attraction, but so are the fascinating shops and the people that make the community so special.

What’s even greater are the extra things that help bring hoards of people to town every year, like Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 5-Monday, July 10, at Granny May Arena in Estes Park inside the Estes Park Fairgrounds. It’s a chance to see a little bit of Americana while also enjoying something that is uniquely Colorado.

Most importantly, it’s a chance for all to understand the Western legacy that has made Estes Park what it is today. This is more than guided horseback rides through mountainous trails. This is a chance to witness a lifestyle that once was a staple of this territory not that long ago.

“We’re very proud to play a part in showing off our Western heritage through the sport of rodeo,” said Cindy Schonholtz, Rooftop Rodeo’s coordinator. “We offer people a great chance to see the beauty of the Western lifestyle.”

They’ll also be doing so while experiencing an award-winning rodeo that’s been around for many years. Because of the magnitude of Rooftop Rodeo, many of the top athletes from around the world will make their way to this Rocky Mountain town in early July. Part of that is the vibrant purse that’s up for grabs for cowboys and cowgirls in the competition, yet another aspect is a chance to enjoy all the experiences Estes Park has to offer.

“If you’re on vacation and looking for a home away from home, then Estes Park is an excellent place to be in July,” announcer Andy Seiler said.

According to the Town of Estes Park, the rodeo hosts somewhere around 10,000 people each year. They may get some concessions or enjoy one of the six to eight vendors that comes out to the rodeo each year, then they find their seats inside the grandstands as they prepare to enjoy the show.

Over the course of the six-day rodeo, fans will see roughly 85 bucking horses, 55 bulls, 80 steers and 50 calves. This year’s field is loaded with nearly 600 entries of cowboys and cowgirls who plan to ride for the money and glory when they arrive in Estes Park. More than 90 bull riders, 90 bronc riders and 160 barrel racers have thrown their hats into the ring.  

Fans will witness world champions and rising stars all mixed into evenings of high-flying, major-intensity competition, as each combatant rides, ropes or wrestles his or her way to the big purse up for grabs.

“Our goal is to always put on a great show for the fans,” Schonholtz said. “If we put on a great competition for the cowboys and the cowgirls, then the fans will get a great show.”

Gates for Rooftop Rodeo open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 5-Monday, July 10, with the preshow beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the rodeo beginning at 7 p.m. For more information about Rooftop Rodeo, which is a Town of Estes Park signature event, or to order tickets online, log on to Other ticket inquiries may be made by contacting the Town of Estes Park Events office at or (970) 586-6104.


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