Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 | 4:08 p.m.
It's time for the annual descent of cowboys and cowgirls on Sin City as the National Finals Rodeo rolls into town. Nearly 200,000 people pack into the Thomas & Mack Center over the 11 days of events. In addition to the rodeo events, there are country acts and bar specials in town at local venues. Don’t forget to shine your big belt buckle and boots!
Thursday, Dec. 2:
“Ride the Bull Challenge”: All cowboys and cowgirls are encouraged to take on PBR Rock Bar & Grill’s mechanical bull from 9 p.m. to midnight. The baddest bull rider walks away with $500 in cash and prizes each night.
Tony Marques at Tropicana: Nashville recording artist and Sterling ACM member Tony Marques performs shows nightly at Tropicana starting at 9:30. Mechanical bull riding also takes place 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly, with a contest starting each evening at 11. Stick around for happy hour specials from midnight to 2 a.m.
Country Karaoke: Brand presents On the Mic Karaoke Country Edition in honor of the NFR. It's time to find your inner Nashville Star.
NFR drink specials at Hooters: From Dec. 2-12, you’ll find $3 Jack Daniels shots and $5 Jack Daniels drinks at all casino bars ’round the clock. Throughout December, you also can enjoy $1.50 Bud and Bud Lights at all casino bars 24/7.
Bill Engvall: Blue Collar Comedy star Bill Engvall performs at Treasure Island. Additional dates for the star of TBS' The Bill Engvall Show are Dec. 4 and 9-10.
Clay Walker: Country artist Clay Walker brings his hits including “The Chain of Love,” “I Can’t Sleep,” “Rumor Has It” and “Fall” to The Golden Nugget.
Friday, Dec. 3:
Western Gift Show at the South Point: If you're looking for the perfect holiday gift for all the cowboys and cowgirls on your list, head down to the South Point's Exhibit Hall for a one-stop shopping extravaganza.
Professional Team Bronc Riding: The South Point presents the 2010 finale of Professional Team Bronc Riding as well as the World Series of Team Roping, with big money on the line.
Laura Bell Bundy: The Silverton gets in the NFR spirit with a concert by Tony-nominated actress turned country singer Laura Bell Bundy, whose hits include "Giddy on Up."
Comedian Ron White: White, best known as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from The Blue Collar Comedy Tour, performs his standup at the Terry Fator Theater in The Mirage. Additional dates are Dec. 4 and 10-11.
Paul Justin and The Saloonatixx: Rock & Rita’s presents a performance by rodeo headliners Paul Justin and The Saloonatixx, $2 Crown shots, 2-for-1 draft beer and Jack Daniels shots, plus food specials.
NFR autograph signing at Tropicana: NFR participants and Royal Riders Clayton Williams and Tilden Hooper will do an autograph signing along with the Crown Royal Models.
Travis Tritt: You'll be in "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and kicked out of the "Country Club" if you miss Grand Ole Opry performer Travis Tritt when he performs at Eastside Cannery.
Saturday, Dec. 4:
Josh Gracin at The Pub: Country superstar and American Idol alumnus Josh Gracin takes over the stage at The Pub at Monte Carlo. Look forward to hits like “Nothin’ to Lose,” “Stay With Me (Brass Bed),” “Unbelievable” and “We Weren’t Crazy.”
Benny Binion's World Famous Bucking Horse and Bull Sale: The South Point presents Benny Binion's World Famous Bucking Horse and Bull Sale featuring $10,500 in prize money.
Party with the PBR Riders: NFR fans can head to PBR Rock Bar & Grill as world-famous rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen hosts the night, along with guest appearances from NFR riders McKennon Wimberly and Renato Nunes. Cowboys and cowgirls who think they have the best duds are encouraged to enter the best-dressed contest, judged by Rasmussen, for $1,000. At the end of the night, the bar will raffle off an NFR World Finals jacket valued at $500.
Stetzen at Night Owl Showroom: Kick up your heels in the Night Owl Showroom with free shows from country band Stetzen.
Sunday, Dec. 5:
Lee Greenwood: Lee Greenwood presents A Tennessee Christmas at The Orleans. His 1983 hit "God Bless the USA" skyrocketed him to fame and garnered many awards. He brings his holiday favorites to town at The Orleans.
Jingle Bell Jam at The Orleans Arena: The Coyote 102.7 presents Jingle Bell Jam with performances by Rodney Atkins, Craig Morgan and James Otto.
Monday, Dec. 6:
Rodney Carrington at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater: Standup comedian Rodney Carrington blends comedy and music in his acts, and that combination has led to him selling millions of albums. He recently co-wrote and starred in the film Beer for My Horses with Toby Keith.
Ron Shock and Cowboy Bill Martin at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club: Ron Shock has a reputation of being one of America's greatest storytellers. Screenwriter and comedian Cowboy Bill Martin joins Shock onstage with his cowboy wit and country charm.
American Country Awards: The first-ever American Country Awards airs from MGM Grand Garden Arena. The new awards show gives out honors based on fan voting. Laura Bell Bundy, Jewel, Lady Antebellum, Rodney Carrington and Jeff Dunham are scheduled to appear, and Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Josh Turner are scheduled to perform.
Tuesday, Dec. 7:
Art of the American Cowboy Exhibit and Sale: The South Point presents the Art of the American Cowboy Exhibit and Sale presented by the Western Art Association.
NFR autograph signing at MGM Grand: Meet all your favorite NFR participants at the MGM Grand Lobby for an autograph signing. Those expected to attend include Trevor Brazile, Fred Whitfield, Billy Etbauer, Will Lowe, Brittany Pozzi, Patrick Smith, Josh Peek, Cody Ohl, Stran Smith, Tuf Cooper, Clint Cooper, Wes Stevenson, Bobby Mote, Travis Tryan and Angie Meadors.
John Michael Montgomery: John Michael Montgomery entertains the crowd at The Golden Nugget with hits like “Sold,” “Be My Baby Tonight,” “I Swear” and “Life’s A Dance.”
Wednesday, Dec. 8:
Charlie Daniels Band: The legendary Charlie Daniels Band, best known for the hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” performs at Tiffany Theater at the Tropicana.
Jason Meadows at Palms: Nashville Star participant Jason Meadows will perform free shows at The Lounge at Palms Casino Resort, open to the public during NFR.
Thursday, Dec. 9:
Clint Black: Clint Black performs a two-night engagement at The Golden Nugget featuring songs like "Good Run of Bad Luck" and "A Better Man."
Friday, Dec. 10:
MGM Grand’s WNFR All-Star Fans After-Party: Studio 54 hosts MGM Grand’s WNFR All-Star Fans After-Party featuring all of the MGM Grand hosted cowboys.
Buckle Bunny Pageant and fundraiser: Calling all cowgirls! It's time to strut your stuff at the first-ever Buckle Bunny Pageant at the Tropicana. Participants will be judged on wit, beauty and personality. Three contestants will be invited to attend the finals Dec. 11. The finals include a silent auction and autograph signing to help raise funds for American Wild Mustangs. True Cowboy Magazine Buckle Bunnies Baxter Clay, Julie Cialini (former Playmate of the Year) and WPBRA Champion Denise Luna (former Playboy Playmate) will be signing autographs and taking photos, with proceeds benefiting the Mustangs.
Miranda Lambert: Miranda Lambert brings her hits like "The House That Built Me" and "White Liar" to The Pearl at the Palms, along with Eric Church and Josh Kelley.
Saturday, Dec. 11:
NFR After Party: NFR champion Trevor Brazile hosts a VIP post-party at Studio 54 featuring Crown Royal and Bacardi drink specials.
Official WNFR World Champion Awards Show: The Mirage will host the Official WNFR World Champion Awards Show and 10th Night After-Party that include a presentation of awards to the 2010 PRCA World Champions and recognition of all WNFR contestants. The evening also includes music performances, prize giveaways and celebrity appearances.
Mechanical bull riding contest: NFR fans can show off their skills for the best bull riders, as Luke Snyder, Brendon Clark, Chris Shivers and rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen host a mechanical bull riding contest. The best mechanical bull rider walks away with $1,000. PBR Rock Bar & Grill ends the NFR festivities by raffling off two tickets to the 2011 NFR World Finals, valued at $500.