Still Time to Book an Independence Day Getaway to Cody Yellowstone
CODY, Wyo., June 22, 2023 – Last-minute travelers seeking a July 4 getaway can still find lodging and tickets to rodeo events in Cody Yellowstone in northwestern Wyoming.
Hotels in the towns of Cody, Meeteetse and Powell have reported some availability during the July 1-5 celebrations, which include parades, musical performances, rodeo and fireworks.
Saturday, July 1, through Tuesday, July 4, with the final night capped by a massive fireworks show. The celebration also includes a Kiddies parade on July 2 at 10 a.m. and Stampede Parade, themed “Living in the Wild West,” at 9:30 a.m. on July 3 and 4. This year’s parade Grand Marshal is “Cody” Bill Smith, a long-time rodeo champion who specialized in saddle-bronc riding and qualified for the National Finals Rodeo multiple times during his many years as a rodeo superstar.
Rodeo tickets can be purchased online or at the main Stampede office in downtown Cody.
Cody Yellowstone offers an array of lodging choices, from bed-and-breakfasts and guest ranches to elegant inns and family-friendly hotels.
“Cody is known as the Rodeo Capital of the World, and we protect that hard-earned label by staging the liveliest and friendliest rodeo performances in the West all summer long,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of Cody Yellowstone, the marketing arm for the region that includes the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, parts of the Shoshone National Forest and a large swath of Yellowstone National Park. “Beyond the rodeo and parades, our holiday visitors will find many wild and Western things to do here, from rafting the Shoshone River to visiting our destination’s many attractions.”
Hauck added that guests at the Stampede Rodeo are encouraged to share their social media posts with #codyyellowstone. Content will be re-shared on the Cody Yellowstone Facebook and Instagram channels.
Buffalo Bill’s Lasting Rodeo Legacy
The roots of the Cody Stampede can be traced to 1896 when William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody founded the town that bears his name. He chose the town’s location 52 miles from the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. There, he envisioned a town that could support not only the ranches and farms throughout the region but also capture the interest – and dollars – of the tourists who were increasingly passing through on their way to the park.
Buffalo Bill Cody is best known as the legendary showman behind “The Wild West Show,” a traveling extravaganza that entertained audiences in the U.S. and Europe with performances that included skilled cowboys and cowgirls hailing from Western ranches who theatrically demonstrated bronco riding, roping and other rodeo-type skills.
It’s no surprise, then, that ranchers living near the town he founded often entertained themselves during their few off hours by engaging in informal contests such as calf-roping, steer wrestling and horse-racing. The contests became a favorite pastime, with town residents gathering to watch the show.
The Cody Stampede is marking its 104th anniversary this year. The Stampede got its start when a group of local leaders including a lawyer, dude ranch owner, newspaper editor and a publicity-savvy and nationally known female novelist met three years after the death of town founder Buffalo Bill Cody to talk about how to transform the town’s small annual July 4 celebration into an event that would showcase Cody’s authentic Western dude ranches and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park.
Among the most vocal of those leaders – and the only female present – was Caroline Lockhart, whose best-selling novels in the early 1900s had earned her fame and fortune. Once the group settled on naming the event the Cody Stampede and sketched a general framework, Lockhart took the reins as president. She set about publicizing it in the Park County Enterprise – Buffalo Bill’s newspaper, which was later renamed the Cody Enterprise, and is still in operation today. She also organized fundraisers and invited famous rodeo performers to demonstrate their skills at the nightly rodeos.
These town leaders had little idea that they would create an annual event that would be enjoyed and remembered by generations of Cody residents and visitors from around the world.
More Cody Yellowstone Fun
Visitors will find an array of activities to keep them engaged when not enjoying Cody Stampede events. Among them are the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Old Trail Town & Museum of the Old West and the Cody Trolley Tour. There are also many outdoor adventures such as horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, rafting and kayaking.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. 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.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations