Through my lens: The Greeley Stampede
July 15, 2016
The Greeley Stampede and 4th of July Celebration is now in its 95th year and it has come a long way from its early days as a festival to honor local potato farmers. Back then there were no PRCA Rodeos and or sold-out concerts. The Stampede has grown into a multi-day event and now bills itself as the World's Largest Fourth of July Celebration. To anyone who has spent a couple of days trying to see all that the Greeley Stampede has to offer, that statement hardly seems like an exaggeration.
If you are into music the Greeley Stampede is the place to be. Not only are there big name concerts like Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Vince Neil and Luis Coronel in the main arena, but there are plenty of free concerts throughout the day and into the night at the multiple stages in Island Grove Park.
The rodeos and the paid concerts may get most of the attention, but there is plenty of family entertainment at the Greeley Stampede that is absolutely free. There is the Kids Rodeo with horse events, bull riding, and events for the little kids, including a special area with a petting zoo, face painting, stick horse rodeo, a sandbox play area, and the Sheep Stampede.
One thing you do not want to miss is the carnival. There are rides for kids of all ages and adults who are kids at heart. There are active things like the free-fall Super Shot and the more passive Ferris wheel. There are relaxing rides and rides to scare you out of your wits. And there are lots and lots of stuffed animals to be won at games of chance and skill.
One of the things they really get right at the Stampede is the Food Court. It is centrally located with plenty of tables, lots of grass, shade trees, and a music stage. Whatever you are hungry for – turkey legs, ice cream, brats, brisket, pizza, smoothies, tacos, corn dogs or a hundred different other foods – you could find it here. It was a great place to eat, meet your friends, and rest up for the next adventure.
Those early potato farmers would have been proud to see what their little festival has grown into. ❖