Even though we weren’t root, root rooting for our team, the just-completed Cody Stampede always feels like Homecoming Weekend to us here in Cody Yellowstone.
And considering this was our centennial celebration there were more familiar faces than normal along the parade route, in the stands at rodeo, on the dance floor at Cassie’s, bellied up to the bars at the Silver Dollar and Pat O’Haras.
I had to laugh when some new friends who moved here this spring commented that once the Stampede was done things would quiet down. They did not realize that our summer would hum along for quite a while and that many of our attractions are either open just for the summer or host most of their guests during the traditional vacation months when school is out.
Here are some of my suggestions for activities you should check out before the end of summer:
- Experience the rodeo. The Cody Nite Rodeo is often travelers’ first rodeo experience. Open nightly from June 1 through August 31, the rodeo features riders, ropers, bull riders and bronc busters from all over the country.
- Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings is outside the Irma Hotel to watch this supremely entertaining group of actors engage in Western skits that always end up in a gunfight. Want a guaranteed seat? Buy a reserved seat for $2 through Cody Trolley Tours, which departs from the same location.
- Enjoy a free concert in Cody’s City Park. Every Thursday evening in July and August, the City of Cody sponsors a concert at the band shell in the downtown City Park. Picnic baskets, chairs and blankets are encouraged.
- Soak in some cowboy music. Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, featuring authentic Western music, comedy and poetry, has been an entertainment staple for years. Miller and his Empty Saddles Band perform Monday through Saturday nights in Buffalo Bill’s Music Hall.
- Stroll through Western history. You will appreciate a visit to Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West, an enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings (one used by Butch Cassidy and his gang) and several gravesites, including that of the infamous Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 self-titled film.
- Ride a horse. Dude ranches have been part of the American vacation experience since the early 1880s. Today the roads between Cody, Wyo. and Yellowstone National Park are home to a high concentration of guest and dude ranches. More information is available online.
- Enjoy a chuckwagon dinner. The singing cowboys and a hearty dinner combine for a Western tradition, and we have topnotch offerings.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and reveling in summer – in Cody Yellowstone.