Just about every town in Yellowstone country has a rodeo or several rodeos scheduled throughout the year.
But Wyoming, “The Cowboy State,” is arguably the best place for attending a rodeo.
During a rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls put their skills to the test against legendary bulls, bucking broncs, crafty calves and hefty steers. Cowboys and cowgirls compete in events such as bareback bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, steer roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping and barrel racing.
Many of Wyoming’s rodeos are known throughout the world, including Cheyenne Frontier Days – the “Daddy of ‘Em All.” This event takes place the last full week of July in Wyoming’s capital city.
Cheyenne Frontier Days is the largest outdoor rodeo in the world and attracts big names from all over the country. It provides spectators with the best outdoor rodeo action in the world by hosting the top names each year. These top riders don’t want to miss competing for the largest purse on the professional circuit.
This year’s 10-day celebration will be the 107th Annual event and it will be held July 23-August 1. Besides the exciting PRCA rodeo action, there is a carnival midway, top-name entertainment concerts, Indian village and dancing, USAF Thunderbirds Air Show, free parades, a free chili cook-off plus much more. For a change of pace, don’t miss the Old West Museum and Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale.
Cody, situated directly east of Yellowstone, is often called the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” thanks to the Cody Nite Rodeo, which performs nightly from June 1- August 31. Entering its 66th year, the Cody Nite Rodeo, which is increasing its prize money to $180,000 this year, features bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling. The action is non-stop. Bull riding tops off every evening and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
In addition to the standard rodeo events, the Cody Nite Rodeo features a Novice Barrel Race for kids under 12, steer riding for those under the age of 14 and a calf scramble, where children from the audience are invited to participate in the crowd-pleasing event.
Cathy Ivory, Cody Nite Rodeo events coordinator, says the Cody Nite Rodeo is a high quality rodeo for people to see every night of the summer.
“This is the only place in the world where it is available,” she said. “That’s why Cody calls itself the ‘Rodeo Capital of the World.’”
Rock Springs’ Red Desert Rodeo, scheduled for July 29-31, has twice been voted “the best mountain states circuit PRCA rodeo.” The event consists of three performances: a PRCA Pro Rodeo, a Coors Chute Out and Dodge Truck Rodeo that attracts big-name competitors. The Red Desert Rodeo is a “single go,” which means there will be different cowboys participating in each performance.
You can also witness the oldest “paid” rodeo in the world on your trip to Wyoming. Lander’s Pioneer Days Rodeo will be held July 2-4. Being the oldest “paid” rodeo, it has been called the “Granddaddy of ‘Em All.”
In Sheridan, there are rodeo events all summer long, including the Sheridan-WYO PRCA Rodeo, July 15-17, Don King Days Old West Rodeo (Labor Day), cowgirls and county rodeos, youth and college rodeos, and team ropings.
There are many other great rodeos scheduled in Wyoming, as well as in Montana and Idaho throughout the summer. Check with local chambers of commerce for dates and locations.
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