For 114 years, the Gunnison Valley has celebrated its western way of life with annual demonstrations of roping, racing and riding skills. This “Granddaddy of Colorado Rodeos” has grown from an annual get-together by local cowboys and cowgirls to a staged PRCA event that now attracts competitors from around the country.
Born from the tradition of area ranching, the early rodeo took place between spring calving and summer haying. It made its debut on a makeshift Main Street arena and later moved to other venues, including what is now Western State Colorado University’s track field. “Pioneer Days” and “Helldorado” were two of the names initially tied to the celebration. After it came under the sponsorship of the Gunnison Valley Stockgrowers Association, “Cattlemen’s Days” became the official title. The rodeo eventually began operating under the direction of the Cattlemen’s Days, Inc., which built facilities at the current site.
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