Cheyenne is home to one of the greatest rodeo festivals in the world. Cheyenne Frontier Days takes place over ten days every year in July. It hosts parades, horse racing events, and the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Nearly 200,000 people come from all over the world to attend the festival, which has been held annually since 1897.
Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
If you can’t make it to Cheyenne Frontier Days, you can learn all about it at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. It features exhibits on the history of the festival, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, Western art, and one of the world’s largest collections of carriages. The museum is open daily. Admission is US$10 for adults and free for children under 12.
Famous Rodeo Horses
The first exhibit is about some of the greatest rodeo horses in history, including Steamboat of the famous Bucking Horse and Rider, the state symbol of Wyoming.
There was also the Deadwood Stage. This historic stagecoach made 50 hour rides between Cheyenne and Deadwood, South Dakota, during the 1870s and 1880s. It was a 300 mile ride and the stagecoach would stop at stations every 10 miles to change horses. A display next to the Deadwood Stage talked a little about carriage service in Cheyenne.
Cheyenne Frontier Days Exhibit
The next room was dedicated solely to the history of Cheyenne Frontier Days. It displayed all kinds of memorabilia, books, newspaper clippings, a popcorn wagon, photos, trophies, and more. Short movies played in a small theatre with historic footage of rodeos at the festival. There was also the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame.
Carriages and Wagons
Continuing through the hallways, I came to a huge warehouse full of colorful carriages and wagons for several different uses. This was by far my favorite part of the museum. I was never into carriages but I found this exhibit fascinating. There were general use overland stage wagons, chuck wagons, and many more.
Service wagons included a Yellowstone National Park tourist carriage, dairy wagon, gas wagon, and ice wagon.
A US Mail wagon, ambulance carriage, and even a funeral carriage featured (maybe if the ambulance carriage didn’t get there in time).
The one that really caught my eye was the library wagon, complete with bookshelves.
A motorized fire engine was also on display. It was out of place but I thought it was cool, anyway.