Don’t Miss These Free Events at Cheyenne Frontier Days
Don’t let the “Daddy of ‘em All” weigh down your wallet. As always, Cheyenne Frontier Days is a great chance for lovers of Western culture to indulge and for neophytes to receive an entertaining education. Whether it’s your first or your fiftieth time visiting CFD, these are the free events that will please friends of all ages so you don’t miss out on the fun in Cheyenne July 20-29, 2012.
Free food is always a crowd pleaser, and yes there will be a crowd in downtown Cheyenne on pancake days. Last year the Kiwanis treated 27,267 people to free pancakes and they did it with style, flinging flapjacks over their shoulder to boy scouts holding cafeteria trays. There are three Kiwanis pancake feeds, on July 23, 25 and 27, all starting at 7 in the morning.
If you’re not a parade person, I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy the Grand Parade, but I can guarantee that it is a parade unlike any other. Some of the floats in this parade are so iconic, they haven’t been replaced since 1926, including Dazee’s Dance Hall and the Silver Crown Mine. Pretty much every mode of transportation is represented from big tractors to miniature horses and participants are all dressed western garb. There are four chances to see the Grand Parade in downtown Cheyenne at 9:30 a.m. on July 21, 24, 26 and 28.
This is a fantastic thing for people just dipping their feet into the rodeo scene. Meet by the “No Looking Back” bronze statue by the Old West Museum and you’ll be lead through the paths the animals take to make the rodeo run smoothly. And yes, you will get to go into the chutes and even walk across the arena. Tours are held at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on July 21-28 and at 10:30 a.m. on July 29.
American Indian performers have been a part of Cheyenne Frontier Days since 1898 and are truly a sight to be seen. At Indian Village you’ll find authentic American Indian dancing, music and storytelling. Performers of all ages don colorful costumes and are happy to educate on American Indian history. The Little Sun Drum and Dance Group is a particular favorite, they will perform three times daily July 24-31 and once on August 1.
Wild Horse Gulch is frequently talked about as a way to take a step back in time. It’s because they’re not kidding. Volunteers research and then take on the identity of a Wyoming pioneer. Some are familiar names like Buffalo Bill Cody, but most are simple merchants, craftspeople and artisans that can show you the way things used to be done in an old west town. Wild Horse Gulch is open between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. throughout CFD and is located between the museum and Indian Village.
This is an event that can impress everyone and bring out the kid in anybody, fighter jets tend to have that effect. The best spot to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds soar over Cheyenne is at Laramie County Community College, but those parking lots typically fill up before 9 a.m. so bring a lawn chair and some sunscreen as you wait for the intense 10 a.m. show.