“Gotta go now baby, If I hurry I can still make Cheyenne.”
Cheyenne. The “Daddy of ’em all.” One of the top 10 prize-money rodeos for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
This rodeo is a major event that takes place every summer with over 300,000 people visiting Cheyenne, Wyoming each year. It has a long and rich history that we’re going to talk about today!
The first Cheyenne Frontier Days took place in September 1897 and has been an annual event ever since. But why was Cheyenne chosen as the destination for this rodeo?
The town was in need of an event to help with the local economy. Some local businessmen and the mayor decided that showcasing cowboy talent would be a great attraction for the town! People from across the United States would travel to Cheyenne to see the cowboys and cowgirls compete. It began as a single day event the first year but expanded to two days the following year. Today, Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place across TEN days.
Let’s look through some photos from past Cheyenne Frontier Day rodeos to see how the event has changed over the years!
Awards from Cheyenne in the American Rodeo Gallery
In addition to photos in the DRC, we have awards spanning decades from Cheyenne Frontier Days on display in the American Rodeo Gallery at The Cowboy! We selected a handful to show you here but know there is a lot more for you to come see at The Cowboy.
Lorena Trickey was a very talented cowgirl in the early-twentieth century and won numerous awards! Check out this photo from the Nashville Banner of Lorena Trickey holding her awards from the 1920 and 1921 Cheyenne Frontier Days. You can see these awards in the gallery when you visit The Cowboy!
We enjoyed doing the research for this post! Cheyenne Frontier Days still happens every year in July – so seeing the events unfold in real time has been cool. I love comparing old photos from the archive with photos being posted on social media. Some things change, but some things will always be the same!
I hope you’ll join me further down the trail for our next post in the “Breaking Trail” series where we uncover the stories of the American West at The Cowboy!
Want to know more about the history of rodeo? Check out these books from Persimmon Hill!
“Miss Helen Bonham of Cheyenne, Wyo. “Teddy her horse and “Miss Wyoming” in which she is the central figure. She was chosen from a big field of eastern and western beauties.” Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), July 6, 1919.
Omaha World-Herald (Omaha, Nebraska), July 6, 1919.
“Cheyenne Girl is Model for Frontier Day Poster.” The Wood River Sunbeam (Wood River, Nebraska), August 21, 1919.
“Scra-a-atch ‘im cowboy! Its Frontier Days.” Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Nebraska), July 2, 1922.
Nashville Banner (Nashville, Tennessee), July 30, 1922.
“Tales of the Town.” Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana), March 30, 1934.