If you’ve been following us here at Visit USA Parks for some time, you know we are big fans of Cheyenne, Wyoming and their colossal Western celebration, Cheyenne Frontier Days! This 10-day festival is home to the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, adoringly referred to as the Daddy of ’em All. For those experiencing Frontier Days for the first time, here’s our guide to the festival and a few tips for the rest of your time in Cheyenne.
This story was created in partnership with Cheyenne Frontier Days and Visit Cheyenne.
Celebrate Cheyenne Frontier Days
Visitors from near and far flock to Cheyenne during Cheyenne Frontier Days. This 10-day festival is an annual event that celebrates all things American West. Now in its 123rd year, Cheyenne Frontier Days features a Grand Parade, Old Frontier Town, Family Fun Days, live music, and the biggest attraction of them all—the Daddy of ‘em All Rodeo. This is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and is a sight to behold for rodeo newbies and experts alike!
But First, Enjoy Cheyenne!
Before diving into the Frontier Days fun, get acclimated in Cheyenne. We recommend taking the Trolley Tour, where you’ll get a look at the city’s rich western past, historic buildings, and most infamous characters. You might also enjoy taking the kids on a scavenger hunt around town to find eight-foot-tall cowboy boots that are hand-painted by local artists. Garden aficionados will want to stop by Cheyenne Botanic Gardens for free entry into a newly opened lush indoor greenhouse—a great reprieve on a hot summer day!
Be a Cowboy at Terry Bison Ranch
For those wanting to try out cowboying themselves, head to Terry Bison Ranch. You’ll get to ride the train to feed bison by hand and observe the workings of a real ranch. Movie buffs will enjoy that this is the bison herd that featured in the hit film Dances with Wolves. Then, take a horseback ride across some of the property. Your guide will answer any questions you have about horsemanship or the ranch as you enjoy the wild west scenery.
Explore Cheyenne Food & Culture
That evening, dinner is served fresh at the Wyoming Rib & Chop House. We recommend pairing your entree with a local brew from Accomplice Brewery, right down the road. Afterward, you might enjoy a melodrama at Cheyenne’s Little Theatre. This historic venue still serves sarsaparilla—the perfect complement to the lively entertainment! Those looking for a party can check out the Outlaw Saloon. Another fun local spot with two stages for live music and a mechanical bull, you’ll really have a chance to dance the dust off your boots after a full first day exploring Cheyenne.
See the Frontier Days Grand Parade
Kick off the festivities the following morning with the Grand Parade. The parade starts at the capitol building and is old-fashioned fun for the whole family. Enjoy watching Miss Rodeo America, colorful floats, and marching bands stream by in succession. The parade also features the world’s largest collection of historic wagons!
Next, you might consider taking a “behind the chutes” tour. This is a rare opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the world’s biggest outdoor rodeo. You’ll even be able to have your photo taken in the chutes!
The Grand Finale: The Daddy of ‘Em All
When the national anthem kicks off the Daddy of ‘em All later that afternoon, you’ll feel like Cheyenne local! Here you can watch the best of the best compete in different events. They include roping, wrestling, bull and bronc riding, and even a wild horse race that will have you on the edge of your seat. Rodeo is a fascinating sport in which both animal and rider are considered athletes. You’ll learn all about the rules, safety considerations, and scoring system while enjoying the entertainment in Cheyenne.
That evening, enjoy live country music from some of the country’s best artists as they perform on a new state-of-the-art stage that is pulled onto the rodeo arena by John Deere tractors. It doesn’t get much more Western than that.