• Slideshow01

    Join Our

    featuring a special tribute to Lu Vason,
    Founder of the The Bill Pickett
    Invitational Rodeo.

  • Lu Vason, Founder and Producer
      Lu Vason 
      Founder &  
  • Maurice Wade
      Maurice Wade 
      Denver Cowboy 
  • Stage Coach
      The Stage Coach  
  • Bull Dogger
      Bull Dogging Event  
      Named after creator  
      "Bill Pickett"  
  • Mutton Busting champions
      The Champions  
  • The Bull
      The Winner!  

Welcome to the MLK Jr. African American Rodeo of Champions

MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019 • 6PM

For more information call 303.373.1246.
Groups: Peggy at 303.796.0132  |  Ken Johnson 720-290-2778
Vern Howard 720-971-1329  | Valorie Yarbough 303-995-5062 | Maurice Wade 303.641.6963

  • Our goal is to preserve the heritage and legacy of African American contributions to the American West and to give recognition to the cowboys and cowgirls who were pioneers in the sport of rodeos. General info & tickets CONTACT KEN JOHNSON: 290-2778 FOR DETAILS & TICKETS

  • This year’s MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions will feature a "Tribute to Lu Vason, founder of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. This onclave of cowboys and cowgirls will boast a colorful display of rodeo excellence, excitement and action that will get you off your seats!

  • Give the Gift of Heritage!

    Give your family friends an evening of rodeo excitement featuring Black cowboys and Cowgirls from across the U.S., We have bull riding, barrel racing, bare back, bull dogging, calf roping and mutton busting and much more!

  • Our events are exciting, fast-paced, thrilling and feature non-stop action!

    Don't miss the rodeo that features some amazing Black and Native American cowboys and cowgirls!

Lu Vason

Lu Vason,
Founder of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo

"I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path
right now, but that doesn't mean it's not there.“
With over four decades showcasing national and international talent, Lu Vason was an experienced producer, media impresario and market consultant.  His extensive credits include creating the Pointer Sister, founding both the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and MLK African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions, producing the 1st Annual Denver Jazz Festival, brought “Harlem Comes to Denver”, “Harlem Returns to Denver” (featuring the Dance Theatre of Harlem), OperaJazz and an array of other events. 

Through his company, Lu Vason Presents, diverse communities were able to experience unique entertainment events and opportunities; nurturing audiences with memorable cultural art experiences and inspiration. Lu’s true passion was his love for the rodeo and the black cowboy and cowgirl.  Vason used the rodeo not only for entertainment but also as an educational tool, sharing the story of the African American cowboy and cowgirl while touching hundreds of thousands of lives all over the world. 

Lu Vason's  legacy will live on through the Bill Picket Invitational Rodeo as it begins its 32nd year. The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo has traveled to 33 cities and is known as the world's only African American rodeo.

Sponsored by
National Western Stock Show
City of Aurora


Tickets and Group Sales

Get your tickets today!

Ranging from $25-45

MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo featuring Frontier Airlines Mutton Bustin', Westernaires.

Partake in the history and heritage of America's black cowboy as top cowboys and cowgirls compete in the Pony Express relay, ladies' steer undecorating and more traditional rodeo events.

All tickets include National Western Grounds Admission for the day of the event. Children 2 and under are free.

Will Call is located at the South Lobby of the Expo Hall. For Special Handicap Access or directions to the National Western Stock Show Box Office call 303-295-1660.

Groups: Peggy at 303.880.3010  |  Ken Johnson 720-290-2778  |  Vern Howard 720-971-1329  | Valorie Yarbough 303-995-5062 | Maurice Wade 303.641.6963


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MLK Jr. Rodeo Promo