In 1897, Frederick W. Angier, Traveling Passenger Agent of the Union Pacific Railroad, suggested to the editor of the Cheyenne Daily Sun-Leader, a festival similar to Greeley, Colorado’s “Potato Day.” As a result of that suggestion, plans for the first “Frontier Day”, were formulated in the Tivoli Saloon at the corner of 16th Street and Carey. Events included pony races, bronco busting, and steer roping among others. At the time, these events were seen as a test of a cowboy’s skill. The inaugural event was so successful that the next year it was expanded to two days and a parade was added. The rodeo expanded as the years went on and more affiliated events were added. Its reputation increased as well. And today it is one of the most authentic and largest rodeo events in the world.
It draws top professionals who compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. Complementing the daily rodeo action are behind-the-chutes tours, trick riding and a wild-horse race. A Native American Village, an old frontier town, a saloon, dancing, a chuck wagon cook-off, pancake breakfasts and an art show carry through the frontier theme. Rounding out the program are a carnival midway, an air show, top-name entertainment, professional bull riding shows and several parades that include antique carriages and automobiles. Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place each summer during the last full week in July.