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Home Things to Do Festivals Get Ready for Cheyenne Frontier Days, A Whopper of a Rodeo and Western Celebration

Cheyenne Frontier Days

Get Ready for Cheyenne Frontier Days, A Whopper of a Rodeo and Western Celebration

Wyoming's 113th Annual Western Celebration Will Bring Together the Old West and the New West for Thousands of Fans

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If you love rodeos and big-time western fun, then you have to visit Cheyenne, Wyoming and experience Cheyenne Frontier Days 2009 - what organizers call the world's largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration.

The 113th Cheyenne Frontier Days festival will take place July 17-26, and it will pack in just about anything you'd want to see - nine PRCA rodeos, parades, top name international entertainment, one of the best Western art shows anywhere, a Native American Indian Village, a chuckwagon cook-off, free pancake breakfasts, a carnival, and a special aerial demonstration by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

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Cheyenne Frontier Days began as a simple one-day celebration. In September 1897, a group of volunteers from the Cheyenne business community thought it would be fun and profitable to stage a western celebration. Since then the festival has grown to where attendance last year reached more than 550,000 attendees (Denver, Colorado is only 90 minutes from Cheyenne).

What does it take to put on a Western festival like Cheyenne Frontier Days? Volunteers, and lots of them. With a city population of just 55,000, somewhere around 2,500 volunteers, from corporate CEOs and bankers to school teachers, students and homemakers, all donate hours and hours of their time to make the festival a success. They do a range of jobs, everything from ticket taking to mucking horse stalls.

One of the hallmarks of the festival is Frontier Nights at Frontier Park where some of the top name entertainers grace the CFD arena stage to perform. Last year's entertainer schedule included Rascal Flatts with Taylor Sqift, Blake Shelton with Kellie Pickler, Jason Aldean with Miranda Lambert, and Sugarland with Tracy Lawrence. The 113th celebration promises another knockout lineup of country stars, including George Strait, Sawyer Brown band and Kenny Chesney.

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Another tradition that keeps growing is the annual free pancake breakfasts. Started in 1952, the Kiwanis Club, with the help of the Cheyenne Boys and Girl Scouts, cook breakfast for thousands of hungry visitors. The record? Just over 39,000 persons in 1996.

Last year volunteers served up more than 100,000 flapjacks made from 5,000 pounds of pancake mix, cook-up 3,000 pounds of ham, serve 9,200 cartons of milk and 520 gallons of coffee, along with 630 pounds of butter and 475 gallons of syrup.

In 2009 the free breakfast will be served on Monday, July 20; Wednesday, July 22, and Friday, July 24. Breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the restored downtown Union Pacific Depot Plaza.

But it's rodeo that's really at the heart of Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Visitors can see more PRCA rodeo action in one day-over 40 bucking bulls and over 70 saddle and bareback broncs in each performance-than at any other rodeo. Every event is performed during each of the nine daily rodeos. Things get going at 1 p.m. daily, July 18-26, and finish up around 4:30 p.m. Events include bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback, rookie bronc, steer wrestling, steer roping, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing. And the latest news is that in 2009, Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo will be part of the PRCA Wrangler Million Dollar Tour.

For real fans of rode, the festival offers the Timed Event Slack at the Frontier Park Arena where, free of charge, visitors can see some of rodeo's best athletes compete in roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling events. Starting at 7 a.m., the Timed Event Slack rodeo is set for July 14-18, 20-21, and 24-25.

Another great free offering is the Behind The Chutes tour. The tour provides a behind-the-scenes look at Cheyenne Frontier Days, including a trip behind the chutes. Visitors 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 with cowboy in tow. Guests encounter a special experience when they step into the chutes and finish the tour by walking across the arena.

Tours begin in front of the Old West Museum by the "No Looking Back" bronze statue and last approximately 40 minutes.

Then there's Wild Horse Gulch, where visitors can take a step back in time and celebrate Cheyenne's western heritage. On hand will be Western merchants, craftspeople, artisans and special guest characters like Lillie Langtry, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp. Wild horse Gulch is free. The old west town is located between the museum and Indian Village, and is open 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

There are more features and events planned for the 2009 Cheyenne Frontier Days, and we'll keep you posted as they are announced.

It's no wonder that Cheyenne Frontier Days is known as the "Daddy of 'em All," a phrase coined in 1919 when Cheyenne gained worldwide recognition for having the biggest and best rodeo in the West.

For more information on 2009's Cheyenne Frontier Days, programs, event schedules and ticket prices, visit the Web site at
www.cfdrodeo.com

 
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