Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself shopping and dining among cattle in Aggieville this weekend. The second annual Aggieville Showdown spring stock show spans all of Saturday, April 2nd, beginning at the Riley County Fairgrounds at 10:30 a.m. and continuing in the Aggieville business district at 6:30 p.m.
The event kicks off with showmanship for the cattle exhibitors, after which six of the best contenders are selected for the event in the evening. Once the clock hits 6:30 p.m., the festivities move to Aggieville for the “Grand Drive.” Michelle Helm, communications manager for the Aggieville Showdown, said that around 3,000 participants attended the inaugural event in 2021. They are expecting similar numbers again this year, if not more.
“We are a cattle show like no other,” Helm said. “We are expecting this event to just grow and be bigger and bigger.”
If you don’t fancy checking out the cattle, don’t worry. With live music from Manhattan-born singer Stewart Ray, a western fashion show put on by Vanderbilt’s and plenty of unique vendors, there’s a little something for everyone.
“We have some really really cool people,” Helm said. “[They sell] a lot of handmade items that you’re not going to be able to find anywhere else, ranging from antique jewelry and authentic western jewelry to an array of different products.”
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The event is a huge draw for local residents, out-of-state cattle show enthusiasts and K-State students. Skyler Forge, sophomore in biochemistry, attended the event this past year and said he enjoyed the evening component of Aggieville Showdown.
“My favorite part was probably the Grand Drive,” Forge said. “I mean, Aggieville was packed.”
Forge said that he plans on returning this year, and voiced appreciation for the unique nature of the event.
“I’ll definitely be attending this year,” Forge said. “Having the animals on display for people who wouldn’t normally see ag in their every day — I thought that was really cool.”
This is exactly what the founder and now general manager of the event, Christian Calliham, intended to do, according to Helm. With the event, the Aggieville Showdown team hopes to educate the public on the importance of the livestock industry and agricultural efforts.
“It started as a passion project and has grown to what we see it as today,” Helm said.
Helm encourages everyone to visit Aggieville and check it out, even if you’ve never attended a cattle show before – if only for the shopping and live music.
“I would just encourage people to come down, even if you don’t know anything about livestock,” Helm said. “We welcome you with open arms and we view this as an opportunity to teach you about agriculture.”