By Jesse Sarles

DENVER (CBS4) – The National Western Stock Show opens in Denver this weekend despite surging omicron cases in Colorado. The 16-day show runs from Jan. 8 through Jan. 23.

A cowboy hangs on during the bareback riding competition (credit: JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)

It annually draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the country for rodeos, livestock auctions and trade shows.

Proof of vaccination is not required to get in, but there is a mask mandate for all indoor areas.

“About 60% of our show is outdoors. Most of the spaces that are indoors have open, huge barn doors that are constantly moving air through,” Paul Andrews, President and CEO of NWSS, told CBS4 last month.

Last year’s stock show had to be canceled due to COVID, and this year organizers canceled the iconic kickoff parade that had been planned for Thursday because of the snowstorm that rolled through the Denver metro area.

Doors open at 9 a.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit the National Western Stock Show website.

Jesse Sarles