“Have you heard the news?” As I was making the rounds on Sheridan Avenue on a clear February day last week, at least six of my friends and neighbors posed that question to me. Each time, I answered with the question, “which news?”
Cody Yellowstone is chock full of enough news to keep even the most prolific local journalists in stories. And there have been plenty of stories lately.
You already know about the 100th anniversary of the Cody Stampede this year. Planners are in meeting mode to nail down details like the parade theme and to choose a grand marshal. This year’s Stampede runs from Sunday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 4. We know there will be a great line-up of PRCA rodeos, parades, concerts, fairs and fireworks, and we’re all still waiting to hear about this year’s parade theme and grand marshal. Stampede tickets go on sale on March 1, and yours truly will be at the Stampede Park ticket office as soon as it opens that morning.
My history- and art-loving friends are super stoked that the By Western Hands Museum & Archives is opening in downtown Cody this summer. Years in the planning, this new attraction is dedicated to preserving Western art and traditions by showcasing the work of our many talented artists and furniture-makers. There is a museum, an education and training center, and a member gallery.
The center is being developed in the old Gambles Hardware building on 12th St. right across from the Chamberlin Inn. It makes me so happy that the building, a key part of Cody’s economic heartbeat for 79 years, will have another life.
And just a block south from By Western Hands Museum is the new Irma Square Theater, where my friend Dan Miller will be staging his Cowboy Music Revue six nights a week this summer. The theater occupies a building – formerly a Safeway grocery store – directly behind the famous hotel. It’s a fitting location for Dan, who is celebrating his 15th anniversary of his popular show. Plus, Dan is partnering with the Irma Hotel to offer a dinner and show package that includes a prime rib and seafood buffet as well as the show.
And just a few blocks from the Irma Square, workers are putting the finishing touches on a massive renovation at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum. The heart of the museum has always been the Winchester Arms Collection, but the museum has more than 7,000 firearms in the entire collection. The renovation is going to be completed in time to welcome our summer-season visitors.
I learned about one final bit of good news by reading a story in the Powell Tribune the other day. Headlined “Cody area highway to be renamed for wild horses,” reporter CJ Baker wrote a lead that made me smile, and I hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet: “A Cody area route will soon become the ‘Wild Horse Highway’ after the proposal drew more ayes than ‘neighs’ in the Wyoming Legislature.” The newly named highway section honors the McCullough Peaks wild horse herd that roams freely through the region. The horses are descendants of Buffalo Bill’s own herd, and Cody’s leaders rightly recognized that there will be some real interest in the heritage of these horses.
With this much news in my hometown, there is plenty to keep my friends and me in coffee shop chat material all the way until May.
Until next time, I’m loving life and spreading the news in Cody Yellowstone.