Cheyenne Frontier Days Free Events
By Hazel M. Freeman
If you’re out Wyoming way in mid July you may want to take time to slip on your cowboy boots and help whoop-it-up at Cheyenne Frontier Days. This grand celebration of the Wild West began back in 1897 and has turned into a rip-roaring, hoedown for all to enjoy. Although the rodeo, bull riding and concert events require spending some of your hard earned cash, there is plenty to do that won’t cost you a dime.
The following are some free events that take place during the event:
Behind the Chutes Tour – A 40-minute tour of a behind-the-scenes look at Cheyenne Frontier Days. Get a first-hand look at what goes on during the rodeo from behind the scenes. These exciting tours follow the path of the bulls and broncs as the animals are rounded up and threaded through the maze of gates on their way to the chutes and out into the arena. You’ll get a chance to step into the chutes and finish the tour by walking across the arena.
Buckin’A Saloon – If you’re 21 or older you can dance the night away at the Buckin’A Saloon. Grab a cold brew and listen or dance to your hearts content to live music from 5 to 7 p.m., or from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Chuckwagon Cook Off - Authentic chuckwagon crews compete in a free cooking demonstration. Crews are given a standard set of ingredients, then judged on not only the wide range of foods produced, but also by wagon, tools and campsite. View & visit with authentic chuckwagon crews as they give a glimpse into life on the Goodnight Trail more than 100 years ago. Demonstration cooking takes place each day of the cookoff and the Championship Cookoff takes place on the final day.
Fort D.A. Russell Days - In 1862, President Lincoln approved plans for a military installation in the Wyoming Territory to protect the nation's first transcontinental railroad. In 1867, the U. S. Cavalry established Fort D. A. Russell as a military post the same year Cheyenne was founded. A tour of Fort D. A. Russell includes visiting historic homes, viewing military reenactments, and even a rare glimpse into the Minuteman III and Peacekeeper missile systems.
Grand Parades – Find a comfortable spot in historic downtown Cheyenne and sit back and enjoy the unique parade of floats, marching bands, antique carriages, automobiles and riders in period dress.
Indian Village – In 1989, after the second annual Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, the rodeo committee agreed it was time to recognize the contributions of the American Indian. Take time to visit the Indian Village to learn more about our Native American heritage. The Indian village also includes exhibit booths and plenty of good food.
The Wyoming Air National Guard Air Show and Open House – You’ll be on the edge of your seat while watching parachute and aerial demonstrations, as well as equipment and aircraft static displays and flyovers all showing off some-of-what America’s armed forces are made of.
Free Pancake Breakfast - Beginning at 7:00 am, free breakfast is served on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the week. Started by the Cheyenne Frontier Committee in 1952, the traditional free breakfast (originally served twice a week) has since been a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The Kiwanis Club, with the help of the Cheyenne Boys and Girl Scouts, plan to cook over 100,000 pancakes and 3,000 pounds of ham.
Timed Events - See some of rodeo's best athletes compete in roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling events.
USAF Thunderbirds – If you’ve never seen an air show put on by the elite flying team from the United States Air Force than you won’t want to miss this spectacular and thrilling demonstration of flying skills.
Wild Horse Gulch - Take a step back in time and celebrate Cheyenne's western heritage with a tour through Wild Horse Gulch. Meet Western merchants, craftspeople, artisans and special guest characters like Lillie Langtry, Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp.
For more information on Wyoming’s Cheyenne Frontier Days visit: www.cfdrodeo.com.