After 20 straight days of posting exciting trips, I realize I have slacked off a bit, however it has been with good reason! Starting on July 20th, the City of Cheyenne kicked off the 122nd Daddy of ’em All, Cheyenne Frontier Days, and once you have experienced CFD, it becomes a part of you!
What exactly is Cheyenne Frontier Days?
- 9 Days of Daily PRCA Rodeos!
- 7 Nights of Concerts! (this year welcomed Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, The Charlie Daniels Band, Eric Church, Nickelback, Toby Keith and Dierks Bentley!)
- 2 Nights of Bull Riding! (PBR and CBR this year!)
- 4 Parades!
- 3 FREE Pancake Breakfasts that serve almost 10K people each day!
- A whole lot of Western Hospitality!
Basically a whole lot of fun where a town of 64,019 welcome a additional 60,000 guests to their town over 10 days. It is crazy, crowded, but unlike anything else on earth.
While all of the above sounds amazing in and of itself, the most amazing thing to me about Cheyenne Frontier Days, what truly makes it The Daddy of ’em All, is that there are only 15 paid staff members of CFD, but 2,900 volunteers that make this event happen! Yep, you read that right, 2,900 people choose to donate their time and talent to welcome the world to Cheyenne Frontier Days! Many of the local volunteers are 3rd and 4th generations, making this truly a family affair! These volunteers serve on one of 10 committees; Concessions, Contract Acts, Grounds, Indians, Military, Parades, Public Relations, Rodeo, Security or Tickets. The committees meet year round, have work days leading up to the event, and then ask their volunteers to donate their time during the week. (My committee asked for a minimum of 10hrs, I think I’ll end up with close to 30!). Even after being on the committee for a few months now, my mind is still blown by what all these volunteers accomplish.
So why would I include this into a travel blog? Mainly because I have yet to work a committee shift and not be volunteering next to someone from out of town! I have meet several people who use to live in Cheyenne or the area, know someone in Cheyenne, or just feel in love with Cheyenne Frontier Days, that use their vacation time to come back and be a part of the CFD Experience, or as I overheard a fellow member say, a part of the CFD family! At first I was a little surprised that someone would take off 2 weeks to come and volunteer at CFD, but after talking with them, they shared how much they love being a part of the Daddy! The friends they have made, the experience they get to be a part of! Even if they do not see one concert, rodeo, or eat a pancake, they love providing that Western Hospitality! As I questioned one person about why they come here for their vacation, they put it to me this way, “You work in Travel, right? Would you question someone who went to Disney World every year?” They were right, I wouldn’t! No one questions my desire to visit Grand Teton National Park every year as people know how much I love it! How much it rejuvenates me and grounds me back into who I truly am! That is what these volunteers experience, a reminder of who they are, what they love, and a taste of a western experience.
It was only my first year on a committee, but I can see why these people choose to come back year after year, at their own expense! It truly is like a family reunion, with family you choose.
Today and tomorrow are the last two days of the 122nd CFD! There will be mixed emotions by the staff and volunteers, as they close up the park for one more year! However they know that next year, on the last full week of July, they will meet again for the 123rd Cheyenne Frontier Days!