There’s no question that cattle are immensely important to the culture and economy of Wyoming. In addition to providing livelihoods for many people around the sparsely populated state, cows and other cattle provide an important form of entertainment: the rodeo. All around Wyoming, it’s easy to find a local arena where a rodeo is taking place. Unlike most other states in the U.S., rodeo cowboys are bona fide heroes; many even attain celebrity status within the state and along the rodeo circuit. If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture of Wyoming, then, it pays to visit a rodeo.
The Rodeo Life
Rodeo is a popular pastime; some even consider it to be a type of extreme sport. For the people of Wyoming, though, it’s more than that - it’s a way of life. Entire communities show up for hotly contested rodeo events; young children cross their fingers in the hopes that they will one day be rodeo stars. In some communities in the U.S., high school football games are considered highlights of the local sports scene; in and around Wyoming, rodeo events are. No matter where you go in the state, you should be able to find a rodeo to attend.
What makes the rodeo so immensely popular in Wyoming? Mostly, it’s the fact that it puts two very important elements front and center. On the one hand, it puts the spotlight on ranching, which is the most important part of the Wyoming economy. On the other hand, it puts the American cowboy front and center. During a rodeo, spectators can watch while brave cowboys attempt to stay on top of wildly bucking bulls and other cattle. Indeed, it is a spectacle that is unlike anything else out there; in many ways, it is a dance.
The Rodeo Capital of the World
In just about every major city in Wyoming - and many small ones, too - you will be able to find a worthwhile rodeo to attend. If you’re determined to immerse yourself in the heart of rodeo culture, though, you should hightail it over to Cody, Wyoming. Cody’s nickname is the “Rodeo Capital of the World.” The town boasts several reminds of the prominence of the rodeo in daily life in Wyoming. More importantly, it plays host to many great rodeo events. Anyone who wants to experience a true-blue Wyoming rodeo should pay a visit to Cody.
Top Rodeo Cities in Wyoming
You don’t have to restrict your rodeo experience to Cody, Wyoming, especially if you’re going to be in a different part of the state. Many other cities host regular rodeo events; in fact, you should plan your trip out then select the nearest rodeo to visit. Sheridan, Wyoming and Casper, Wyoming are both suitable places in which to enjoy a rodeo. Ask just about anyone in the state, though, and they’ll agree that Cheyenne Frontier Days is the premier event of the year. If you’re able to get tickets to it, it’s well worth your while.
The Basics of the Rodeo
Unlike many other sports, the rodeo doesn’t have a standard size for its arenas. The arena in one town may be much larger, or smaller, than the arena in the next one over. Rodeo arenas are always fenced in and always have dirt floors. Roping chutes and bucking chutes are usually located on either end of the arena, too. In order to compete, cowboys must pay entry fees; those fees are collected and used as prize money that’s given to the winner. Basking in the glow of a rodeo victory, though, is more important than collecting cash.
A Working Class Sports Event
Cowboys have always been heroes of the American working class. The Wyoming rodeo gives them starring roles in very important sporting events. During a rodeo event, a cowboy may compete in several different events. From bareback riding to tie-down roping, there’s never a dull moment at a Wyoming rodeo. Whether you’re somewhat familiar with how they work - or if you’ve never seen a single minute of competition - you are sure to be blown away by the fun and thrill of the Wyoming rodeo; be sure to include it during your Wyoming vacation!