By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – The National Western Stock Show opens this weekend, despite surging COVID Omicron cases in Colorado. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the country are making their way to Denver for rodeos, livestock auctions and trade shows.

(credit: CBS)

Katelyn Knievel and her family drove 10 hours from Bozeman, Montana with their cattle.

“It’s such a great experience. Being able to exhibit your animals here and show everything that you work for every single day,” said Knievel. “It’s a feeling you can’t describe.”

Katelyn’s ranch has been in the family for over 100 years.

For many, these few weeks in January are about legacy and tradition. Business and networking are just an added bonus.

“When they canceled it, it was terrible. I mean this is where we do most of our selling,” said Marc Milligan, who brought dozens of alpacas from Livermore.

(credit: CBS)

Organizers say if people are responsible, the show will safely go on.

“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.

He also says there will be a rotational cleaning system throughout the National Western Stock Show.

The mask mandate for the City of Denver was extended through Feb. 3. The mandate applies to indoor spaces of the NWSS, like the rodeo arena and horse show arena. NWSS applied and received a variance from the Colorado Department of Health, regarding proof of vaccinations.

As a result proof of vaccinations will not be required for the Stock Show.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Mobile Bus will be on-site offering free vaccines, boosters, and flu shots on Jan 13, 20 & 21.

Tori Mason