If there were 18,000 people down at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in the arena for the NFR, they tell us there was probably at least another 80,000 in Las Vegas watching the NFR from area bars and casinos- or there just to take in Cowboy Christmas and the NFR experience.

We got down to Las Vegas this past Thursday and Friday and caught up with a whole bunch of Montanans who were there selling art, fashion, and other Montana made products.

Here's some of the folks we got to catch up with while we were set up out of the Rand's Custom Hats booth from Billings, Montana.

 

The photo below is of Canty Boots in Harrison, Montana. Nikki Edmundson grew up in Butte and wanted to make boots that were more comfortable for women. So she designed these custom made boots. Her company really took off about 6 years ago when Victoria's Secret models wore them for a show.

Listen to our chat with Nikki:

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Nikki also told us about another cool Montana company from the Bitterroot Valley- Casey Curtis Designs (photo below).

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Check out these larger than life size bronze statues by Bradford Williams, who has spent a lot of time in the Dillon area.

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Here is a closer look at the saddle designed by Frecker's Saddlery in Dillon, Montana (valued at $17,500).

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Credit Aaron Flint
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Got to chat with Melstone, Montana saddle bronc rider Sage Newman during a break in the NFR action.

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Credit Aaron Flint
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Speaking of Frecker's Saddlery in Dillon- here is Aaron Flint  along with Carston Frecker the saddlemaker.

 

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Norm Clarke is a Montana native who became known as "the Gossip King of Las Vegas."

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Jennifer Boka is a sports agent who represents several of the NFR athletes- including Sage Newman and Miles City's Haven Meged.

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In the photo below is Canty Boots' Nikki Edmundson, Jennifer Boka, Jessica Flint, and Aaron Flint.

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Credit Aaron Flint
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And what about this spin off of the "Let's Go Brandon" chant?

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This was cool. I went to college at the University of Montana with Sam Riddle. He was the redhead with the afro who played basketball for the Griz during the March Madness tourney against Oregon in the early 2000s. He is now a country music entertainer in Vegas, and we randomly ran into him and his band at the Westgate Hotel and Casino. We heard this great band playing and figured we better stop. We did- and there you go- Missoula, Montana's own Sam Riddle.

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Butch Bratsky of both rodeo and Stockman Bank fame dropped by to join us on the radio.

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Here's Rand's custom hat maker Thad Lamey fitting a young lady for a custom made hat.

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Credit Aaron Flint
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These next 4 photos feature Montana artist Tim Joyner. Man is his work impressive. Check out the rock versus country chess board. He was an art teacher in Cut Bank for most of his career. And yes, that buffalo jump bronze below is incredible.

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Here's a closer look at Canty Boots.

 

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Montana Silversmiths has a major presence at Cowboy Christmas, and they had quite the Yellowstone TV show themed jewelry on display.

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Credit Aaron Flint
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Credit Aaron Flint
Credit Aaron Flint
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LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.