If you find this article helpful, you may wish to read the article titled The May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm.
Cody, Wyoming is a popular vacation destination located in northwest Wyoming. A mere one hour drive from the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Cody offers a variety of entertainment. Having lived in and explored the Cody, Wyoming area for the past year, I can assure you that visitors will find a wide range of activities that are sure to please varied tastes.
Rodeo Capital of the World
Cody, Wyoming is known as “The Rodeo Capital of the World”. This title is well earned since the Cody Nite Rodeo is held every evening from June 1st through August 31st beginning at 8:00 PM. Rodeo activities include barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, team roping, steer wrestling, and the ever popular bull riding. The youth calf scramble and entertainment provided by rodeo clowns add to the evening’s fun.
The nightly rodeo is suspended when the Stampede Rodeo is held during the annual Fourth of July festivities. The Cody Stampede Rodeo is a PRCA event that includes many of the top cowboys in the country. This year the Stampede Rodeo will include the Xtreme Bulls event in which “forty of the world’s top bull riders will take their shot at a $50,000 purse and the championship title” (Cody Country Guide). The Cody Stampede Rodeo was twice voted the “Best Large Outdoor Rodeo” in the U.S. by PRCA members.
Cody Trolley Tours
The Cody Trolley Tour is a 60-minute 22 mile guided tour of Cody, Wyoming. Visitors board a red and green trolley at the porch of the historic Irma Hotel. Passengers enjoy a live performance, watching and listening to two costumed guides “spotlight historical sites, scenic vistas, geology, wildlife and old and new west attractions” (Cody Trolley Tours). The tour encourages audience participation by passing around relics, sharing historic photos, and playing audio clips. Participants are also given a copy of the “Best of Cody” book as a souvenir. The Cody Trolley Tour provides several daily tours during the months of June through September.
The Cody Gunfighters provide live entertainment Monday through Saturday evenings during the months of June through September at the Irma Hotel. The free event lasts approximately 45 minutes and includes famous gun battle re-enactments and shootouts. Actors costumed as real and fictional western characters also provide historic presentations. After the show, audience members have the opportunity to pose for pictures with characters such as Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickock, or a variety of other historical western figures.
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) is located at 720 Sheridan Avenue in Cody. The center was named after “Buffalo Bill” Cody and houses five museums: the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Cody Firearms Museum, and the Draper Museum of Natural History. In addition, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center hosts several events throughout the summer, including the Plains Indian Museum Powwow, the Cowboy Collectibles Benefit Dinner and Auction, and the Buffalo Bill Invitational Shootout.
Old Trail Town
Old Trail town, located along Yellowstone Avenue, contains an assortment of 26 authentic frontier buildings dating from 1879 to 1901. The display of buildings is located on the initial site of Cody City surveyed in 1895. Guests are able to enter the buildings to see various artifacts, as well as visit the graveyard, which holds the gravesites of local and national heroes and other famous characters. The final resting places of Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnson, Cowboy Hall of Fame member Floyd Stillings, and Bill Garlow Cody (Buffalo Bill’s grandson) can be found at Old Trail Town.
Concerts in the Park
Cody’ City Park hosts a free summer concert series on Fridays during the months of July and August. Attendees can enjoy a variety of entertainers at this weekly event. Musical entertainment at Concerts in the Park includes country, bluegrass, and rock.
Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center
The Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center is located at the west end of Cody on the way to Yellowstone National Park. The Dam is positioned 295 feet above the Shoshone River and was “designed as the tallest dam in the world” (Cody Country Guide). Spectacular views of the canyon can be enjoyed from the Buffalo Bill Dam.
The visitor center offers a variety of displays illustrating the influence of Buffalo Bill on the development of Cody, Wyoming and the surrounding area. Visitors can also enjoy displays by the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. A self guided audio tour is available. In addition, the visitor center offers a gift shop featuring many interesting local items.
This is just an overview of the many interesting events and activities available to visitors enjoying a summer vacation in Cody, Wyoming. There are many other entertaining events available to vacationers in the area, including a walking tour of Cody, rock climbing, river rafting, and a trip to Yellowstone National Park. In addition, Cody offers a variety of dining establishments for the enjoyment of all. For more information, please visit the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce or the Cody Wyoming Community Site.
Melissa Bushman has published several articles at Associated Content. Please click her name at the top of this page to view her other work.
“Cody Country Guide.” (2007). A publication of the Cody Enterprise.
“Cody Trolley Tours.” URL: http://www.codytrolleytours.com/