BigHorn Rodeo Coming to Las Vegas in May
By Ian Colgate
Q. What organization was formed in Las Vegas in February 1992 by a handful of country-western fans? A. If you answered the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association (NGRA), you answered correctly.
What started as a small southern Nevada-area group quickly turned into a state-wide rodeo association that now boasts over 125 active members. An affiliate of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA), NGRA produces the annual BigHorn Rodeo, one of the largest rodeos in IGRA’s rodeo circuit.
This year’s BigHorn Rodeo will be held at Horseman’s Park in Las Vegas on May 9 & 10 with official events beginning on May 6th. In addition to traditional rodeo events there will be Pride Family Bingo, BigHorn Rodeo Pool Party, Two Chicks 4 D Barrel Race, Homorodeo.com Meet-N-Greet and the BigHorn Rodeo 2015 Awards Ceremony. Host hotel for the event is the non-gaming Alexis Park – All Suite Resort which is located directly across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel.
For those who have only experienced the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip, a rodeo may seem like an anachronism – an event that feels like it’s out of time and space. But Nevada has a rich gay rodeo history. The first gay rodeo was produced in Reno in 1976, many years before NGRA’s formation. Although it took the new group two years to hold a rodeo, since 1996 NGRA has produced 17 of them.
This year’s event will include an array of traditional and specialty rodeo events. Starting at 11:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the running order (subject to change) is as follows:
- Steer Decorating
- Calf Roping on Foot
- Team Roping
- Chute Dogging
- Pole Bending
- Grand Entry
- Steer Riding
- Bull Riding
- Mounted Breakaway Roping
- Goat Dressing
- Wild Drag Race
- Barrel Racing
- Flag Racing
If you love the country western lifestyle, the BigHorn Rodeo and the other IGRA-associated rodeos across the country are at the heart of keeping it alive and well, even in the dazzlingly beautiful neon-lit world of Las Vegas. And the bonus is that the wonderful participants’ charitable efforts benefit their local organizations. To register for the event, to become a sponsor or for more information, please visit the rodeo’s website at www.ngra.com.