Travelers visiting The Dude Rancher Lodge in Billings, Montana, experience a mix of old-time western life with modern amenities. Whether you are visiting Billings to explore nature like at Lake Elmo State Park or are traveling for business, you can relax from whatever you are up to at our hotel. Are you looking for a way to experience western life without traveling far? Make plans to see the NILE in Billings, Montana!
Background and history
The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE for short) dates back to 1967 when a livestock show was held in auction yards around Billings. Over the years, the show grew into a week-long celebration of western life and culture. Today, the NILE features rodeo competitions, exhibitions, presentations, live auctions, concerts, and more! During this event, ranchers from 38 different states sell and show livestock, including horses, cattle, pigs, and goats.
The NILE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting western life. The organization funds local scholarships and holds fundraisers throughout the year. They also have several programs like the Merit Heifer Program, which gives cattle to local youth to raise as their own.
Things to do
When you attend the NILE, you’ll watch as authentic ranchers and modern-day cowboys compete for bragging rights and monetary prizes. The NILE rodeo competition selects the best ranching teams to compete in events like Bronc riding, barrel racing, wild cow milking, team-roping, and doctoring. These events all simulate the various tasks ranchers perform on a daily basis. Winners of the NILE rodeo competition will compete at the Western State Ranch Rodeo Association Finals in Nevada.
After the rodeo, put on your cowboy boots for the traditional Dance in the Dirt, a concert with live music held on the arena floor.
The event still stays true to its roots and offers many livestock competitions, shows, and auctions.
The Exhibit Hall hosts local artisans and vendors who sell the latest fashions in cowboy apparel, jewelry, homewares, etc. You can also purchase official NILE merchandise while you’re there. The Expo Center offers the newest ranching equipment, agricultural supplies, and animal feed to farmers, located next to the cattle stalls. The Montana pavilion’s NILE market is open the last three days of the event and offers clothing, home decor, and livestock products. The NILE Market will be open from October 15th through 17th from 10 am to 6 pm this year.
Attending The Nile In Billings, Montana 2020
Due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, NILE organizers have decided to launch a hybrid event for 2020 called NILE Version 2.0. The event will blend several in-person and virtual events for its 53rd year. Events will span from September 30th to October 18th and will include livestock competitions and shows. In-person events will be held at Miller’s Horse Palace in Laurel, Montana, just 20 minutes away from Billings. Due to current state and federal recommendations, this year’s rodeo has been canceled. The rodeo is usually held at MetraPark in Billings.
Stay at Dude Rancher Lodge for the NILE
Though this year’s event may look a little different, there is still plenty to do at the NILE. The Dude Rancher Lodge partners with NILE organizers and is a host hotel for the event. Be sure to ask about our special rates for NILE attendees and make your reservation now. Experience a full western experience from sun up to sundown when you visit the NILE show in Billings, Montana!