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A bull rider tries to hang on for 8 seconds at the Charro style bull riding competition at the National Western Stock Show Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza Sunday at the Denver Coliseum.

Crowds flocked to the 117th year of the National Western Stock Show, breaking attendance records for the opening weekend, according to a news release.

Officials counted 109,978 Stock Show fans visiting Saturday and Sunday, breaking the previous opening weekend attendance record of 106,921 guests, set in 2020.

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“I would like to personally thank everyone that came out this weekend to celebrate and support this important Colorado tradition,” President and CEO Paul Andrews said in the release. “Not only to enjoy the rodeos and horse shows, but to support exhibitors, ranchers, and farmers who have traveled from 48 states to be in Denver as part of our community for 16 days.”

Draws like Saturday’s Colorado vs The World Rodeo, CINCH World Team Semi-Final, and the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza Sunday likely helped.

But it wasn’t without some hiccups — especially when it came to parking, or lack thereof. Patrons were buzzing about the problem on social media and in-person at the Mexican Rodeo Sunday.

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Officials tried offering free parking at a nearby Coors Field lot off Broadway and Wazee Street with a free shuttle, but it didn’t seem to help.

“The parking situation was a problem, and we are working to make changes to better serve our guests this upcoming weekend,” according to Spokeswoman Karen Woods. “We are working hard to determine a system that best serves our guests.”

There were 58,901 guests Saturday, breaking the previous record of 57,386 set in 2020. More than 51,000 visited Sunday, breaking the opening Sunday record of 50,577 set in 2018.

Tuesday is Free Grounds Admission Day, compliments of sponsor Arrow Electronics.

“Guests can enjoy a host of activities, including Colorado’s largest western trade show, Miniature Zebu Show, Stick Horse Rodeo presented by Centura Health, Coors Western Art Gallery, Westernaires Trick & Fancy Ropers, and much more,” according to the release.

For more information, or tickets, visit nationalwestern.com.

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