What to Expect at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming

I got in trouble at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo in Wyoming. It’s a fabulous ten day event filled with parades and concerts and pancake breakfasts and all of the energy and excitement that surrounds the nation’s largest outdoor rodeo.

A cowboy struggles to stay on a bull at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

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What to Expect when Attending a Rodeo

For those who’ve never been to a rodeo, this is the real deal — sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. These are REAL cowboys and true athletes who thrive in the competition. They’re not the kind of people you want to mess with. Nor are their fans.

Plains Indians live in a teepee village at the Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo each summer.So when a colleague and I were being frowned at for cheering on the cows in the calf roping competition, we decided we should leave the grandstand and explore the Indian Village. I loved the Indian Village. Individuals representing several of the Plains Indians tribes participate. We learned that it was the Arapaho who first began the Indian participation at the Frontier Days Rodeo nearly 100 years ago.

The music, the storytelling, the dancing. I sat there for hours listening and watching. I ate Indian tacos and bought clay pottery and enjoyed this aspect of the Old West immensely.

Hoop Dancers at the Cheyenne Rodeo

A Native American Hoop dancer performs at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.One of the crowd favorites, and mine as well, was the hoop dancing demonstration by Jasmine Pickener from Rapid City South Dakota. She is a Crow Creek Dakota Sioux and is one of about 10 women in the world who can do what she did that day.

The woman redefines cardio work-out, especially considering it was about 90° in the direct sun when she performed this dance and the dress she is wearing weighs about 10 pounds. This clip is about 2 minutes long, but she went on this way for more than 10 minutes. I got hot and tired holding the camera after 5 minutes.

I’m really hoping that Jasmine Pickener performs again. She alone is worth the price of admission to this fabulous event. But I’ll still cheer for the baby cows.

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