Cheyenne Frontier Days

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Frontier Park
"Buffalo" Vernon (left) bulldogging a steer, 1910
Union Pacific 844 leads the Cheyenne Frontier Days Special near Platteville, Colorado in 2007.

Cheyenne Frontier Days is an outdoor rodeo and western celebration held annually since 1897 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA. The event, claimed to be one of the largest of its kind in the world, draws nearly 200,000 people every year.[1] Lodging fills up quickly during the peak tourist season throughout southern and eastern Wyoming and even into Colorado and Nebraska. The celebration is held during the ten days centered about the last full week of July.

Overview[edit]

Prior to the annual kickoff of CFD on a Friday, the annual walking of the steers is held on the preceding Sunday morning. This event, which attracts considerable attention, is based on the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. In 2013, 447 steers walked a three-mile course in unison from Hynds Boulevard into Frontier Park to await the forthcoming events.[2]

The CFD features nightly concerts by popular music and comedy acts, a midway, a fair with rides, games, and food vendors, wild west shows featuring Western riding, an Indian village, and a large PRCA/PBR nationally sanctioned rodeo. A common moniker for the event is "The Daddy of 'em All", based on its long history and the fact that the rodeo is billed as the largest such event in the world.

The event also features free pancake breakfasts sponsored by the local Kiwanis chapter. They are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with nearly 40,000 people taking advantage of this every year. In one week, over 100,000 pancakes are served, along with 3,000 pounds of ham. On the alternate days, the city of Cheyenne hosts a parade. Other attractions include the Native American Village that is free and open daily. Here visitors can experience the traditional Native American culture including pow wows and demonstrations. Not far from the village is Wild Horse Gulch. This is also a free area where visitors can get a feel for the Old West and its traditions.

The rodeo and the majority of the events are centered around the property of Frontier Park, but some of the events such as the pancake breakfasts are held in a different part of the city. The most recent event was held in July 2012, which marked its 116th celebration.[3]

Another annual event is an air show featuring the United States Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, which takes place on Wednesday. The Thunderbirds share a long history with Cheyenne Frontier Days as they made their public debut there in 1953 and have continued to perform regularly since then. The ground portion of this show along with static displays and flying of other aircraft takes place on the United States Air National Guard side of the Cheyenne Regional Airport. The Thunderbirds' main aerobatic display is performed over the campus at the Laramie County Community College.

The rodeo draws visitors from different parts of the United States as well as internationally. These visitors generally stay in hotels, motels, or in recreational vehicles. Temperatures around 81 degrees F (27 degrees C) and fair weather are normal for the time of year when this event is held.

Cowboy style bars and country and western themed establishments scattered throughout the city of Cheyenne are popular with many rodeo fans and participants, and they file in in large numbers after the night shows.[4]

Clayton Danks, the winner of three CFD competition prior to 1910, is the model cowboy on the horse Steamboat on the Wyoming trademark, the Bucking Horse and Rider.[5]

Beginning in 1908, an annual train has carried travelers between Union Station in Denver, Colorado and the Cheyenne Depot Museum.[6] It typically consists of Union Pacific 844, a Union Pacific water car, a helper diesel engine, a tool car, and eighteen passenger cars. The train is displayed in Denver at Union Station the day before and the day after the trip to Cheyenne.

In 1996, Shirley E. Flynn of Cheyenne wrote a history of Frontier Days called Let's Go! Let's Show! Let's Rodeo! The History of Cheyenne Frontier Days. The book declares that the celebration was a full success from the first year.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/article.asp?id=101546
  2. ^ "James Chilton, "Power steering: Cattle drive marks the start of Frontier Days"". wyomingnews.com. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.cfdrodeo.com
  4. ^ http://www.cheyenne.org/listings/index.cfm?action=showSub&catID=6&subcatID=23&startrange=All&endrange=All&substart=M&subend=S&notify=1
  5. ^ "Kelsey Bray, Blazin' saddle". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days Train". Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Shirley E. Flynn". Wyoming Authors.org. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°8′44″N 104°48′7″W / 41.14556°N 104.80194°W / 41.14556; -104.80194