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Celebrating the Year of the Cowgirl at Cheyenne Frontier Days: Honoring Tradition and Western Spirit

A rodeo is something that every coastal cowgirl needs to experience, and if you’re looking for the best, look no further than Cheyenne Frontier days. Known as “The Daddy of ’em All,” this world-famous event should be on your bucket list. Sure, it may be a little far from the coast, but this world-famous event should be on your bucket list. Held each year in July, Cheyenne Frontier Days is much more than just a rodeo. It’s a ten-day celebration of western culture featuring food, music, shopping, and tons of activities! The event draws more than 200,000 visitors each year and the rodeo itself enjoys the distinction of being the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Every year, Cheyenne Frontier Days picks a theme, and this year the theme is the “Year of the Cowgirl,” which we love!

Cheyenne Frontier Days Year of the Cowgirl
Photo Credit: Wyoming News

This year, the theme is on the “Year of the Cowgirl,” with a newly unveiled bronze statue titled “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” symbolizing the strength and spirit of Western women. Sculpted by D. Michael Thomas, a Wyoming native, the statue pays homage to influential women like Susan Samuelson’s great-great-grandmother, a cowgirl from the 1880s. Cheyenne Frontier Days continues to resonate as a testament to the spirit and strength of Western women throughout history.

Cheyenne Frontier Days

If you go, you’ll want to do some planning. There are so many things to do see and do, and it can get a little overwhelming to decide what to put on your itinerary. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! This is one of our favorite events in the country, and we’ve got everything you need to know about the best activities, events, music lineup, pro tips and more. Read on for our ultimate guide to living your best cowgirl life at Cheyenne Frontier Days.


The history of the Cheyenne Frontier Days dates back to 1897, when the first event was held as a celebration of the early explorers and settlers of the area. At that time, the event was just a single ‘Frontier Day’ and included events like pony races, bronco busting, and steer roping. The initial event was such a success that it was expanded to two days the following year and a parade was added to the schedule.

Frontier days continued to increase in popularity each year as the rodeo expanded and additional events were added. In 1915, it was officially established as an annual event to be held each year in July. Today, the rodeo and the parade are still going strong, and there’s plenty more to do as well.


Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place annually over 10 days in July. The dates for this year’s event are July 19th-28th. The rodeo takes place over 9 of those days (July 20th-29th) and draws professional rodeo athletes from all over the world who compete for over a million dollars in cash prizes.

In addition to the rodeo, there are also performances by local as well as nationally touring musical acts. There’s also a carnival that runs daily, a chuckwagon experience, the annual parade, a Native American village, food and craft vendors galore, and even a museum! And all of this fun takes place against the backdrop of Cheyenne, a city that embodies Western charm.

The Rodeo

If Cheyenne Frontier Days is your first rodeo, you won’t be disappointed. It’s one of the most action-packed events you’ll find anywhere. It has also won the distinction of being the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Large Outdoor Rodeo of The Year sixteen times. Watch real live cowboys and girls compete in 9 different events, with each day’s event winners advancing to a championship round on the final day. Here’s the full list of rodeo events:

  • Bareback Riding
  • Breakaway Roping
  • Barrel Racing
  • Bull Riding
  • Saddle Bronc Riding
  • Steer Wrestling
  • Team Roping
  • Tie Down Roping
  • Wild Horse Race

You can find out more information on the rules, and even see videos of all the events on the Cheyenne Frontier Days website, in their Rodeo 101 Section.

Frontier Nights: The Music Lineup

Cheyenne Frontier Days to bring artists to perform at Frontier Nights. Photo from Cheyenne Frontier Days

If the rodeo wasn’t enough of a reason to check out this event, Cheyenne Frontier Days also has a music lineup of nightly concerts that rival any major music festival in the country. National acts are featured nightly on the main stage in the fairgrounds, while smaller local and regional acts can be seen at the Buckin’ A Saloon. The lineup features primarily country and folk artists, but there are other genres represented as well. The 2024 lineup features Jason Aldean, Turnpike Troubadours, Jelly Roll, Machine Gun Kelly, T-Pain and Ludacris, and Thomas Rhett. But the artist we’re most excited about this year the sole woman to be featured on the main stage. One of our favorite country girls, Lainey Wilson, will take the stage on July 26th, and her performance is definitely on our must-see list!

Other Things to Do at CFD

Visitorenjoying the Carnival as part of the Cheyenne Festivitiess

You’ll come for the Rodeo and live music, but you’ll find plenty more Western themed fun for the whole family along the way. Here are just a few of other exciting experiences that you can enjoy during Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The Museum – The Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum is open year-round, but it has extended hours during Frontier Days and it’s a great place to visit while you’re in town. Immerse yourself in the 120-year history of the rodeo and the entire Frontier Days celebration with a variety of rotating art installations.

The Indian Village – Native American performers have been a part of Cheyenne Frontier Days since the second year of the festival, and the Indian Village provides is a great way to learn more about their heritage and culture. Here, you’ll experience authentic Native American costumes, dancing, music, crafts, and more.

The Parade – If you love a great parade, you’ll want to grab a seat for one of the four performances of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Grand Parade. The parade features marching bands, horses, antique carriages, vintage bicycles, and a variety of colorful floats focused on Cheyenne’s Western heritage and the history and culture of Wyoming.

The Chuckwagon Cookoff – Have an authentic Old West culinary experience that the whole family will love at the Chuckwagon Cookoff. This event features chuckwagon crews competing for awards for their food, as well as their wagon design and overall campsite appeal.

The Carnival Midway – Enjoy rides, games, food, and fun at the carnival midway, open daily at Cheyenne Frontier Days. This is a great activity for the little ones to have some fun, and for the adults who want to feel like a kid again!

What to Know Before You Go

You can find a fill list of frequently asked questions on the Cheyenne Frontier Days website, but we’ve also compiled a few of our favorite tips on what you expect and how to best prepare for your trip.

  • The majority of events and activities take place outdoors, so dress accordingly, stay hydrated, and be sure to bring your cowboy or cowgirl hat and some sunscreen.
  • If you’re bringing little ones, you’ll need to pay full admission for children over the age of 2. Strollers are permitted in the park but be aware that it can be difficult to get them into the grandstands.
  • If you’re planning to see everything that Frontier Days has to offer, you’ll be doing lots of walking, so this probably isn’t the best place to break in those brand-new cowboy boots. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Don’t try to do everything at once. We’d recommend at least a couple of days if you really want to get the full experience. Plan the days that you want to see the Rodeo, the parade, or musical performances, but be sure to leave some free time to explore the grounds, do some shopping, and check out all the food options.
  • Plan for lodging in Cheyenne as early as you can. Many of the hotels and other accommodations in the area tend to fill up quickly during Frontier Days. You can check out the Visitor Information section of the website for more info on where to stay.

We hope this guide has helped you get ready for and get excited about your trip! And if you don’t yet have a trip planned, we hope we’ve convinced you to give this terrific event a try. If you’re a coastal cowgirl looking for the ultimate Westen experience, you’ll be in heaven at Cheyenne Frontier Days!

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