If there is one thing that’ll put sparks in your boots and a smile on your face, it’s head-in over to the mother of all jamborees: Frontier Days, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The cowboy state throws open the gates every July for the annual Rodeo and Wild West Celebration which draws approximately 200,000 people. Touted as one of the best, and largest, authentic Western Frontier events in the world. They even host the USAF “Thunderbirds” for a morning airshow you won’t likely forget. The 10 day extravaganza has everything: An Old Frontier Town, An Indian Village,
A Daily Rodeo event (usually Noon-4:00pm), A Grand Parade, A Carnival, An Airshow, An Art Show, A Pancake Breakfast, A Buckin-A-Saloon, Frontier Nights (evening concerts with talent like Kenny Chesney, KISS), and of course my favorite, the Championship Bull Riding.
What to See And Do:
Know that there is a Rodeo every day at Noon in the main stadium. (Check here for Tickets and Schedule) http://www.cfdrodeo.com . It features Tie-down roping, steer wrestling and team roping, two sections of bulls, two sections of saddle and bareback broncs daily.
I would suggest getting there early in order to walk through the Indian Village. Native Americans live on the premises during the event in TeePees . They perform through-out the day: tribal dancing, playing music and storytelling. A great educational opportunity for kids of all ages to learn more about American Indian culture and heritage.
Also, don’t forget to check out the Frontier Village where you’ll experience the Wild West. People of all ages are encouraged to step into the petting zoo where you can see and touch baby lambs, goats, rabbits, miniature horses, pigs and rams. Walk past age-old chuckwagons, and see the real cowboys stoking the campfire as they prepare their lunch. Then, head over to the BLM stables and show arena, where you can get close and personal with wild mustangs and donkeys. Watch the Brave Heart Volunteers (Veterans Organization) participate in horse demonstrations prior to the live auction.
A great time to check out the Carnival is after the rodeo. There are plenty of rides and games where you can work up an appetite for dinner; Chow down and get some grub just outside the Stadium. There are plenty of food options and don’t forget dessert!
There is no shortage of funnel cake and ice cream. If rides aren’t your style, head over to the Buckin-A-Saloon for a cold one and some western music & dancing.
You can even test out your inner “cowboy” by riding the mechanical bulls just outside the Saloon.
The best show for me happens to be the Championship Bull Riding event at 8:00pm in the Arena: The “Daddy of-em All”. Note: (this event is 2 nights only……..so please check the website for dates), http://www.cfdrodeo.com/frontier-nights-schedule/. The night I attended they were honoring all veterans by giving them free admission for serving our country. The Air Force “Thunderbird” squadron was there and the Navy Seal Paratroopers actually jumped out of an airplane over top of the stadium and landed right on the field. Yee-Haw! It was a real Ho Down!
What to Bring & Where to Park:
I would suggest bringing some cold water bottles in a cooler and leaving them in the car. This will save you some money seeing that water costs $4.00 a bottle inside the event. Also, bring a wind breaker in case it rains or cools off in the evening. A fanny pack is a good substitute for a purse in case you decide to go on any rides.
And I definitely wouldn’t leave home without some sort of hat (think cowboy hat here……bring one or buy one at the event) to keep the sun off your face. I would suggest sun tan lotion too, even if you’re not a fan, you’ll be outside most of the day. For more money-saving ideas you can pack a picnic lunch if you park in the main parking lot. When your hungry just throw down a blanket or take it into the food court where they have a multitude of picnic tables with umbrellas. It’s only $3.00 to get into Frontier Days but they will “wave” that fee if you park in the remote parking lot and take the shuttle bus into the event.
This will save you money, parking in the remote lot, seeing it’s only $10 & they “wave” the entrance fee; however, you won’t be able to access anything in your car (cooler, lotion, food etc).
To park in the main lot you will spend $20 and you’ll also pay the entrance fee.
If you decide to participate in Frontier Nights, (The Championship Bull Riding or Concert Series), you will need to purchase tickets ahead of time or as soon as you get there.
If you take the shuttle bus into Frontier Days they will drop you off in front of the information desk. Ask where you can purchase tickets for the CBR or concert and head right over before they sell out.
Frontier Days will bring out the west in you, so saddle up and ride on over to the best Ol’ Jamboree in the country. Yee-Haw! Giddy-Up & Go!