The National Western Stock Show: A wealth of Colorado heritage caught on camera
By Carin R. Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of Julie Lamb
The National Western Stock Show (NWSS) has been promoting American agriculture and Colorado’s rich western heritage since 1906. For local photographer Julie Lamb, it is one of her favorite events to capture behind the lens.
“Can you believe they bring a steer into The Brown Palace?!” Lamb remembers celebrating with family during Christmas at Denver’s historic hotel and overhearing someone talking about the tradition of The Brown Palace hosting both the NWSS Grand Champion Steer and the Reserve Grand Champion Steer. The steers walk the red carpet, surrounded by rodeo queens and are serenaded with live music. Adorned with roses, they are kept in a pen in the hotel’s lobby posing for photos (see photo lower right).
Amazed at the very idea, Lamb did her research and saw the photos of the NWSS parade and decided that she wanted to be that photographer. The one that captures the Longhorn cattle walking the streets of downtown Denver with Union Station in the background and hundreds of excited spectators waving.
“I love history. I love living where I live. I love photographing amazing and beautiful things,” said Lamb.