“We go together like Denim and Rhinestones…” as Carrie Underwood would say, and that’s exactly what describes me, Vegas, the Miss Rodeo America pageant, NFR, and the ultimate VIP experience.
Not only did I spend 12 of the most exciting days in Viva Las Vegas, but I spent the first three as a guest of Miss Rodeo America. This was a true highlight of my year as I was welcomed with open arms from the Miss Rodeo America Board, National Directors, PRCA board members and representatives, as well as Miss Rodeo America herself, Hailey Fredrickson. I witnessed some of the most amazing pageantry, production, and collaborations that made this entire operation work like a well-oiled machine! The best part, I felt like I was a part of the family. Miss Rodeo Canada 2022, Jayden Calvert, and I frequented numerous events together and had some of the best laughs, stories, and discussions that led to the development of a lasting friendship that was kindled by our love and passion for the sport of rodeo and the rodeo queen world as a whole. Did I mention I walked a collective 30 miles in the first 3 days?
One evening, the lady’s in waiting and I were able to head on down to the Las Vegas Strip for a fun “after hours” photoshoot with our amazing sponsor, Sherry Smith Photography. Let me tell you, that was a blast. You know what else was a blast? Trying to figure out where I had parked my car after we had wrapped things up. (Insert dying laughing emoji face here.)
At the conclusion of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, I quickly swapped gears to head on over to Cowboy Christmas and spend the remainder of my trip working on behalf of NRS and Wrangler. Unfortunately, I believe all of us came down with a case of the “Vegas Crud” at some point or another, but we survived. A word unto the wise, always make sure your hotel is right across the street from the CVS. Mine was!
As the week rolled on, the days passed by rather quickly with plenty of time to have some fun and let loose after the work day. One night, my roommate and I quickly made our way down to meet some of our friends and made our way to the NFR Watch Party and Country Revival on behalf of NRS and NTS. We all had a magnificent dinner followed by a fun night out seeing the sights. Definitely could not have hand picked a better group of ladies to run with that week.
If you never have had the opportunity to experience Cowboy Christmas, then you need to make plans to attend next year. I thought I was going to have to buy and pack another bag to take home from Vegas. That or ship some things home, but thanks to Wrangler, I came home with two custom roller duffels that fit more than enough to get everything home.
Overall, was I exhausted, yes but man I would not have wanted to do Vegas any other way. I personally would like to thank our sponsor, NRS, for ensuring that my flight, hotel, and per-diem were all taken care of for this trip. Had it not been for you all, this trip wouldn’t have been possible.
Most importantly, Congratulations to Kennadee Riggs, your new 2023 Miss Rodeo America! May God Bless each and every one of you as we begin a new year, and in just 12 short days, we will be seeing plenty of “denim and rhinestones,” at the 58th Annual Miss Rodeo USA Pageant!
Until we meet again, God Bless and happy trails!