Cody Nite Rodeo Readies to Begin 80th Season June 1
CODY, Wyo., April 23, 2018 – The Cody Nite Rodeo is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year in Cody Yellowstone Country. The event is the longest-running outdoor rodeo and only nightly rodeo in the world. Inspired by Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the Cody Nite Rodeo – along with the five-day Cody Stampede, an annual July 4 rodeo-centric festival – has earned Cody the designation as “Rodeo Capital of the World.”
“We think that Buffalo Bill Cody would be tickled that his groundbreaking Wild West Show inspired a form of entertainment that is enjoyed by thousands of travelers every year,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region. “The Cody Nite Rodeo is a celebration of the Western traditions and cowboy culture with a timeless appeal, and visitors travel from around the world to experience the determined bull-riders, elegantly athletic barrel racers, hilarious rodeo clowns and so much more.”
A little history
Originally called the “Pup” rodeo, the nightly event was started by a one-time Wild West Show performer, Carly Darling, in 1938, 25 years after the final performance of the Wild West Show. Darling’s rodeo, like the Wild West Show, was intended to highlight the rough-and-tumble reputation of “Wild West,” a notion that was also perpetuated through films and books of the time.
Cody was already becoming known as a rodeo destination when the nightly rodeo began because of the growing popularity of the annual Cody Stampede. This annual multi-day event – celebrating its 99th season this year – was started by Buffalo Bill’s friends in 1919, two years after his death. While the original Cody Stampede coincided with the late-June opening of nearby Yellowstone National Park, the timing was moved to early July so that the final night of the event could be held on July 4. This year’s Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-sanctioned event will be held June 30 through July 4 with daily events including parades, fun and competitive runs, a craft fair, live music, rodeos and the Cody/Yellowstone Extreme Bulls event on Saturday, June 30.
Throughout the past eight decades, Cody has drawn some of the top rodeo cowboys in the world, and many rodeo performers got their start in Cody. A saddle horse named “Come Apart” was one of the first bucking broncos to challenge cowboy after cowboy with his relentless bucking ride, for example. Performing for 30 years and known for his unpredictable bucking patterns, the horse was considered an impossible ride by many cowboys.
The Cody Nite Rodeo will be held June 1 – August 31.Two-legged world champions who started their careers in Cody include bullfighter Dusty Tuckness, Jim Houston, Deb Greenough, Mel Stonehouse, Floyd Stillings, Normal Price and Arthur Hoffman.
Modern-day rodeo events include steer wrestling, team roping, bull riding, barrel racing, calf roping and bronc riding.
What else to know
The 2018 Cody Nite Rodeo season begins on Friday, June 1 at 8 p.m. The final rodeo of the season is Friday, Aug. 31. General admission tickets can be purchased online, at the gates or in one of many ticket outlets located throughout downtown Cody. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children.
Cody Yellowstone encompasses the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. As one of the original old west towns, Cody, Wyo. was founded by legendary showman Buffalo Bill Cody, and his spirit of adventure lives on in the town today. With Yellowstone in its backyard, a world-class museum and recreation galore, Cody is home to the Great American Adventure.
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Mesereau Travel Public Relations