This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Greeley Stampede. Although the name has changed over the years, it remains a staple in Colorado Western tradition.
The first Stampede, held in 1922, was actually called the “Spud Rodeo” to honor the city’s potato farmers. The entire rodeo lasted only one day and included events such as a bucking bronco contest, a pie eating contest, and a two-mile Model-T Ford “free for all,” according to the Stampede site.Fireworks were banned at the rodeo in 1942 to save gunpowder for the WWII effort.
In 1949 organizers changed the rodeo’s name to the “Go West with Greeley” Rodeo. According to the Stampede website, this phrase honored Horace Greeley’s signature phrase “Go west young man. Go west.”
The name changed again in 2003 to the “Rocky Mountain Stampede” and again in 2004 to the “Greeley Stampede” which it has remained to this day.
Every year, the Stampede has a specific theme relating to Colorado. In 1957, it was the Meeker Massacre. This year’s theme is the 90th anniversary and will include events such as a rodeo for both the pros and the kids, concerts, a 4th of July parade, a carnival and western art show.
While it has grown into a much larger event, attracted over 250,000 people, the Greeley Stampede still maintains its classic mission statement which it was founded upon: