Eight Things to Know About the Cody Stampede as the Event Readies for 100th Year
CODY, Wyo., April 17, 2019 – On the night of Thursday, July 4, the Cody Stampede Rodeo will thrill fans of authentic Western traditions for the 100th time with an epic rodeo followed by fireworks. The rodeo caps the four-day Cody Stampede, named one of the “top small-town American Fourth of July celebrations in the West.”
“Buffalo Bill Cody was a big dreamer, and he masterfully made his dreams come true countless times,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region that includes Cody and the surrounding area, including parts of Yellowstone National Park. “But he could not have imagined how the annual rodeo that was created to honor his legacy would have the same authentic luster 100 years later. It will be a Wyoming-sized celebration that would make our legendary town founder proud.”
The ambitious lineup of Cody Stampede events includes nightly rodeos, parades, races, fairs, music and fireworks. Visit the Cody Yellowstone website for the complete schedule. Here’s what to know about the celebration:
- The Cody Stampede was spearheaded by Buffalo Bill’s friends to honor his legacy after his 1917 death. A local novelist named Caroline Lockhart led a small group of town leaders in creating a general framework for the event. It initially included just nightly rodeos, but it quickly grew to include other festivities.
- The Cody Stampede helped gain publicity for a new road to the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park that started in Cody and is called the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway today. The entrance is 52 miles from town, and the road meanders through a wildlife-rich Western landscape along the Shoshone River and passes stunning rock formations, numerous guest and dude ranches, the popular Sleeping Giant Ski/Zip Line Area and Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge.
- The Cody Stampede Parade is often led by a famous Grand Marshal, and this year’s paradeleader is expected to be announced soon. Grand Marshals have included Chuck Yeager, Wilford Brimley, John Wayne and “Longmire” actors Robert Taylor and Adam Bartley. The Cody Stampede Board typically announces the year’s Grand Marshal in the spring.
- Rodeo tickets can be purchased online now. General admission tickets are $20 on July 1, 2 and 3, and reserved seating tickets on July 4 are $25.
More than 800 rodeo contestants will be competing for a purse with more than $400,000.
- The Kiddies Parade – scheduled for Tuesday, July 2 at 10 a.m. – is a favorite event among locals and visitors alike. Parade-goers line Sheridan Avenue to watch the youth of the town proudly perform their way down Sheridan Ave., Cody’s main street. There are young dancers and singers, marching bands and community clubs, and they receive enthusiastic support and accolades from their elders on the sidelines. “This is a very supportive local community, and even those of us with kids who long ago left the nest make sure we’re clapping for our town’s kids,” said Wade.
- There are numerous free or moderately priced events including the three-day Wild West Arts Fest beginning July 2, 38th Annual Runners Stampede on July 4 and three days of parades beginning with the Kiddies Parade on July 2.
- Out-of-towners have a broad choice of lodging with more than 1,600 rooms, but the region’s hotels, inns, ranches and campgrounds can sell out for the event, and travelers are encouraged to book rooms soon.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.
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Mesereau Travel Public Relations