Days of ’47 Rodeo and Frontier Camp

Today we headed up to Energy Solutions Arena for the annual Days of ’47 Rodeo. The rodeo, which is the largest in Utah, dates back to 1849, just two years after ’47. That’s over 160 years of tradition, and we wanted to check it out. This was the first rodeo for our kids, but it certainly wasn’t my first rodeo (heh, heh). The rodeo is a big deal, with nationally ranked rodeo stars in every category.

For those of you who don’t know, a rodeo has 7 events: bareback riding, steer wresting, calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, bronc riding, and, or course, bull riding. We were really surprised that all of these events would be held inside on the Jazz home floor.

Our one year old was fascinated with everything!


The sponsor wagon


We liked watching the team roping


 Bull riding…it’s so hard to get a good picture. Watch the video below.

We arrived early to check out a new addition to this year’s rodeo, the Frontier camp held on the east side of the arena. (It is open from 2pm through the rodeo). This is a free event that includes free wagon rides, free pony rides, free displays, and vendor booths. Their are five sections to the camp, and you can walk through and talk to the participants and take in the demonstrations. We enjoyed talking to the buffalo soldiers and learning a little of their history.

At the pioneer camp, we were shown how a drop spindle spins wool, and the boys got to make a toy wooden man dance. At a few of the camps, we wished that the participants were a little more outgoing. A few were just sitting and didn’t really interact with us. Still we had a great time. There is also a stage with live music that runs pretty much the whole time, which gives the Frontier Camp a nice atmosphere. Oh, and there are free water stations– we appreciated that.

The buffalo soldiers’ wagon
Pioneer toys


Riding the ponies was the boys’ favorite


We LOVED that they had cups and water throughout the camp.
It was so hot!


Getting ready for a free wagon ride.


We liked the John Stockton statue hanging out in the Native American camp!

The rodeo was the main event. We are always looking for family friendly adventures, and we were grateful for the 6:30pm start time. The rodeo ended by 8:30 allowing us to get our kids home just a little after bedtime. It was cool to see the arena converted into a rodeo ground with cattle and horses corralled at each end and a thick layer of dirt covering the floor. The rodeo actually started with a cool laser show and indoor fireworks, too!

Our boys loved watching each event, and every time they started something new, that became their favorite. We loved the steer wrestling and the bull riding the most. As soon as the bulls were brought in we were shocked at how big they really are. Our 4 year-old looked in the holding pens and said, “What is THAT?” when we first saw them. When we explained those were the bulls the cowboys would ride, his mouth made a perfect “O” and he said, “Whoa!”

Our boys are pretty smart. They listened to the announcer talking about how this was the first night of the rodeo (it runs for 4 more nights) and were talking about how we can go back again tomorrow night, too. Actually, we can’t, but you can. You can attend on July 20, 22, 23, or 24. Click here for discounted rodeo tickets provided by Days of ’47 (just print the link).

rodeo ticket

*We were provided complimentary tickets to attend and review the rodeo. The opinions and views expressed in this review are all ours.

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  1. Melanie

    That looks so fun. We were just talking about something to do for Pioneer Day, thanks for sharing.