There’s a whole lot to cheer about at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy. It celebrates 40 years as the coolest monument to all things cowboy in the west. The legacy of cowboy culture runs deep in the Pikes Peak region. Our hills and plains have seen their share of horsemanship, ranching, cattle herding and a fair amount of sheep, too. As such, we’ve been pretty proud to be home to such a prestigious attraction. We think Colorado Springs and rodeos are a match made in cowboy heaven. Mount up and come along for a ride through the past, present and future of this mighty fine museum.
The History of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs
When the museum opened in 1979, the hope was to preserve the artifacts of cowboy history and pay homage to the feats of horsemanship. In its 40 years, the Hall of Fame, has inducted spectacular humans and even a few animals. After all, those horses and bulls are doing quite a bit of work, too, right? The Hall of Fame contains a list of greats that even rodeo laymen might recognize, like Chris Ledoux, Ben Johnson, Charles Sampson and Ty Murray. The horses may not be household names, but they’ve got their own awards for things like bucking and barrel racing. The bulls that have bested the best have their own hall of fame for being unridden or only ridden a few times out of hundreds. Yes indeed, the museum is darn cool!
The Epic Cowboy Ball
The Hall of Fame kicks off its festivities with a stellar country ball on Aug. 2, featuring gourmet catering, live music and an open bar. There will be an auction full of cool items, including cowboy collectibles. We suggest your finest Western attire because even though this is a country affair, it’s definitely going to demand your cowboy best. Give the folks at the museum a call at 528-4732 to see if there are still any seats left. They’ll run you about $100.
Celebrate with the ProRodeo Hall of Fame on Aug. 6
With such a big milestone, it’s no surprise that the ProRodeo Hall of Fame is throwing a bang-up bash to celebrate. On Aug. 6, they’ll open with throwback pricing of just $2.50 for adults and $1 for kids, same as the day they opened in 1979. You’ll get to tool around the museum checking out all the regular exhibits and a special exhibition the 101 Gallery. The day is super family-friendly, with a bounce house, face-painting, roping and a whole bunch of fun games. Even better, the museum has announced that this year, there will be a petting zoo!
Food and Live Entertainment
All morning, Kona Ice will be selling their icy treats, but if you’re one of the lucky first 100, you get your ice for free. We suggest you get a giant one and take it with you to watch the Pikes Peak Rangerettes perform at 10 a.m. Oh, we forgot to mention there are live performances? Let us fix that right away. The Rangerettes will definitely be there and so will trick roper Trevor Dreher. There’s also a stick horse rodeo for the youngins and a book signing of Aloha Rodeo, which tells the tale of three Hawaiian cowboys. There will be food trucks starting at 11 a.m. offering meals and snacks for purchase.
After 4 p.m. you can get in for FREE. Grab a beer and just hang out or two-step your way around the dance floor to the tunes of local country favorite Narrow Gauge. There’s also a drawing for rodeo finals tickets and a nifty cooler, plus door prizes all day long. We have also heard a rumor about cake, but we can’t confirm or deny its veracity.
101 Gallery — Hall of Fame: First 40 Years
When you visit the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, you typically get to check out one special exhibition in the 101 Gallery. However, visitors will be treated to a very special exhibition through the month of September in honor of the anniversary. The museum has dug into the specialty collections and put them all on display. What’s included? The Chris LeDoux collection, the western clothing collection, and a host of panoramic photos. There’s also the Hafley-Shelton Wild West Show collection, the Hesston NFR Buckle collection. Those are only a small sampling of what’s on display. Rodeo fans and western enthusiasts DO NOT want to miss out on this opportunity to check out these carefully curated pieces of cowboy history.
Get out your boots and pearl button best for several days of fun at the best in the west. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy is one boot-kicking good time!