What’s New and Notable in Cody, Wyoming
CODY, Wyo., March 17, 2016 – It’s a big year in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. It has been 120 years since Buffalo Bill Cody founded Cody, Wyo. in a region that was his personal playground, and the unflappable and charismatic showman might be uncharacteristically shocked at this year’s array of anniversaries and milestones being observed and celebrated.
“This year we are seeing many anniversaries and other significant events, and our town’s founder would, I think, be pleased to see just how far in terms of recreational offerings, culture and innovation his town has come,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of the northwestern Wyoming region that comprises Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.
Situated in northwest Wyoming, Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum – Buffalo Bill Center of the West – and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.
The town of Cody is a both a destination and a preferred gateway to Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. “As the country celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service, national parks like Yellowstone will be especially popular stops for travelers,” said Wade. “Cody expects to welcome many Yellowstone visitors as well as visitors whose destination is Cody, and those travelers will find a region rich in history and recreational activities, particularly this year.”
Here are some of Yellowstone Country’s anniversaries and milestones in 2016 and beyond:
· 120th anniversary of Cody, Wyoming. Founded by Buffalo Bill in 1896, the community of Cody is the heart of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, and the entire region is still heavily influenced by his vision.
· 5th anniversary – Heart Mountain World War II Interpretive Center. This award-winning interpretive center at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site includes exhibits that show how the 14,000 Japanese-American citizens incarcerated during World War II lived. The center recently acquired and is refurbishing an original barracks. A commemorative event is planned July 29-30.
· 170th birthday of Buffalo Bill Cody. He was born on Feb. 26, 1846, in Scott County, Iowa.
· 20th anniversary of the Cody Gunfighters. This entertaining nightly event is staged from June through September outside the Irma Hotel. Local re-enactors present the zany antics of the likes of Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, Ike Clanton, Miss Cassie and Doc Payne.
· Sleeping Giant Ski Area, 52 miles west of the town of Cody, will unveil a new summer-season zip line.
· 125th anniversary of Lake Yellowstone Hotel, the oldest hotel in the world’s first national park.
· 35th annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow. Staged on the grounds of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West every June, this cultural celebration and competitive dance competition is a spectator-friendly tradition in Cody.
· Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, a popular six-night-a-week show during the summer season, will relocate to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West this summer. Now in its 13th year, the popular show features country musician Dan Miller and his Empty Saddles Band, who play musical styles ranging from cowboy and Americana to bluegrass and gospel.
· Completion of a major redevelopment of Canyon Lodge & Cabins in Yellowstone National Park. Two new lodge buildings will open in 2016.
· 90th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Formerly known as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, it began as a single museum in 1927, and now is a complex of five museums. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Center has been committed to the greatness and growth of the American West, keeping Western experiences alive.
· 50th anniversary of Old Trail Town. Work began on Old Trail Town in 1967. Old Trail Town’s collection now consists of 26 buildings which date from 1879 to 1901 plus 100 horse-drawn vehicles and an extensive collection of memorabilia from the Wyoming frontier. It is the largest collection of its kind in the state.
· 5th anniversary of Spring into Yellowstone, a five-day festival that celebrates the region’s wildlife and vegetation with guided field trips and interactive seminars led by the area’s top biologists and naturalists.
· 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. As a result of the order, some 120,000 Japanese-American citizens were incarcerated in confinement sites throughout the country for the remainder of World War II. Some 14,000 of these citizens were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site.
· 15th anniversary of the Draper Natural History Museum. Opened in June 2002 in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Draper Natural History Museum explores the wildlife and ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
· 80th anniversary of the Cody Nite Rodeo. Started in 1938, the Cody Nite Rodeo is the longest running – and only – nightly rodeo in the world.
The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639.