The world's largest outdoor rodeo, the Cheyenne Frontier Days, happens to be located in America's least populous state: Wyoming. Cheyenne's population virtually doubles in midsummer with this institution of the American West, which dates back to 1897.
With ten days of bronco busting, parades, free pancake breakfasts, carnivals, square dances, performances from the greatest names in western country music and the world's largest collection of horse-drawn carriages, the Cheyyene Frontier Days event in entirety is a dizzying spectacle.
Attendees and travelers will appreciate the cultural revisionism at play at the Frontier Days. Cowboys and Indians aren't shooting at each other, but instead, cowboy poets go spur-to-spur while an Indian village hosts dancing, storytelling, cuisine and crafts workshops.
The Cheyenne Frontier Days festival is built around six principal events and they are the "Saddle Bronco Riding", the classic cowboy event, when a rider tries to stay on his bronco for ten seconds while having one hand in the air, the "Bareback Bronco Riding" which requires only 8 seconds of resilience, "Bull Riding", where you'll see clowns trying to distract the bulls when they throw their riders to the ground, "Calf Roping" which requires that the cowboy show his lariat skills to lasso a free running calf, bring it to the ground and bind the animal's feet, "Bull Dogging" or steer wrestling, in which a rider drops onto the horns of a galloping steer and works him to the ground while another cowboy rides alongside to keep the steer running straight and lastly, the women's "Barrel Racing" with cowgirls on horseback.
After watching all of this, you'll find yourself feeling more like a real cowpoke, having fallen in love with the intense competition between man and beast. But still, Cheyenne Frontier Days does take its commitment to animal care quite seriously and adheres to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association strict rules governing animal welfare.
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