Since 1899, husbandry enthusiasts, cattle breeders and horse people have gathered in the West Bottoms for the American Royal. Kansas City's largest livestock-agriculture-barbecue blowout draws more than 250,000 visitors every year. A highlight of our cowtown's celebration is the 32nd-Annual American Royal Pro Rodeo (Kemper Arena, 1800 Genessee, 816-513-4000) today and Saturday. Competing in seven traditional events in the Roughstock (Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Bull Riding) or the Timed (Barrel Racing, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling and Team Roping) categories, 12 of the top cowboys and cowgirls from Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma will go for rodeo gold on their way to the National Circuit Finals in Pocatello, Idaho, in April 2009. Also included in the price of admission ($22-$88) is a special performance by 18-year-old Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey, of Taco John's commercial fame. Nashville's "Upper Middle Class White Trash" country performer, Lee Brice, will also do his thing in the Royal Ox Party Tent after the festivities.
Fri., Oct. 24; Sat., Oct. 25, 2008