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This summer I am planning an Independence Day date with a 94-year-old and a few after dinner rendezvous with a 75-year-old. And I truly am excited about them.

You see, I am not just some opportunist hoping to weasel her way into an inheritance a la Anna Nicole Smith. Nope, the old timers I am referring to are the Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo.

The Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo

The Cody Stampede dates back to 1919. It has twice been named the “Best Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year” by PRCA. This four-day event attracts the top cowboys in the world as they compete in all of the disciplines like bull riding, roping and buying fine Western jewelry for their favorite bloggers. Okay, I made that last one up, but I will say that I am partial to turquoise and anyone who wants to know my ring size can send me a private e-mail.

The Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo 1

In addition to the rodeo events, my favorite Fourth of July activity is watching the parade. In Cody, it is not just any parade. Our grand marshals have included a few people you might have heard of. How about John Wayne, Chuck Yeager and Steven Seagal?

The Cody Nite Rodeo is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Every night from June 1 to September 1 – except during the Cody Stampede –visitors fill the stands as they watch up-and-coming cowboys and cowgirls compete for real prize money in riding, roping and racing.

The Cody Stampede and the Cody Nite Rodeo 2

The Nite Rodeo is the only rodeo in the country operating seven nights a week in the summer. The rodeo grounds are located east of town and feature views of the Shoshone RiverHeart Mountain and Buffalo Bill’s secret grave. There are also some thermal features nearby that inspired the term “Colter’s Hell.”

This summer is shaping up to be another season of great rodeo. I hope to see you at the rodeo in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country!