Snake River Stampede Fun Facts
This has been an incredible week at the Snake River Stamped and Saturday is the culmination of this Idaho event that has been around for 106 years. The rodeo has come a long way since it was a part of the 1911 Nampa Harvest Festival. If you're new to the Treasure Valley and have never been do yourself a favor and take the opportunity to experience a great Idaho tradition. If you've been before you already know how exciting the final day of the rodeo can be, but you may not know this history behind the Snake River Stampede. Here are some fun facts compliments of their website that you can share with family and friends while you enjoy the fun filled last couple of days of the show.
- The Snake River Stampede in Nampa, Idaho is one of the top 10 regular professional rodeos out of the approximately 600 rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
- The Stampede is a direct descendent of the Nampa Harvest Festival which was first staged in Nampa in 1911.
- After two successful years of the Harvest Festival, the committee decided to add a bucking contest to the festivities in 1913.
- By the year 1923, they were calling "the buck show" the backbone of the Harvest Festival.
- In 1937 the rodeo separated from the Harvest Festival and moved its dates to July.
- After considering such names as Ski-Hi Rodeo and Thunder Mountain Round Up, rodeo director Ike Corlett named it the Snake River Stampede.
- President Franklin Roosevelt, at his home in Hyde Park, New York, pressed a golden telegraph key which opened the spectacular new rodeo.
- In 1950, a new state-of-the-art horseshoe-shaped stadium, seating approximately 10,000, was built and a top western star was brought in to entertain at half time during the rodeo.
- Gene Autry was the first star of the Snake River Stampede and he filled the stands every night.
- The Stampede was the first show in which Reba McEntire, a former rodeo barrel racer, was a headline entertainer.
- In 1986, a popular kid’s event, mutton busting, was also included in the night’s schedule.
- The Snake River Stampede moved into a new home in 1997. The familiar old green arena, which was built in 1950, was retired after the last performance of the 1996 Stampede and the rodeo moved to its new home indoors at the Ford Idaho Center located just off exit 38 on I-84