Warmer weather, afternoon thundershowers, sprouting trees, and blooming flowers; summer has finally arrived along the Front Range. Time to don your cowboy gear and head to two annual western festivals which draw visitors from all across the country and even the world. Add these events to your “bucket list” of nearby things to do and see this summer.
Greeley Stampede: The Greeley Stampede runs from Thursday, June 27, through Sunday, July 7. The event brings in nationally known western entertainers. All their shows are at 8 p.m. On Friday, June 28, Morgan Frasier will open the performance featuring award winning western singer, Josh Turner. Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, performs on Saturday, June 29, after the Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’ Band. Texican rockers, Los Lonely Boys, follow the Los Lobos & Alejandro Escovedo opening act on Sunday, June 30. On Friday, July 5, enjoy the groundbreaking sounds of country artist Jerrod Niemann and LoCash Cowboys. Closing the list of popular entertainers is none other than Trace Adkins of TVs Celebrity Apprentice/All Stars and Grand Ole Opry fame on Saturday, July 6, preceded by Chase Rice.
Activities abound for all ages. For a list of events and times, log on to www.greeleystampede.org/events. There’s the Top 25 rated rodeo, demolition derby, and kids activities of Sheep Stampede, Kids Korral, and Kids Rodeo. In Stampede Park you can participate in Carnival Americana, daily parades, and fireworks. Be sure to be on hand for the free Independence Day Parade on Thursday, July 4, at 9 a.m. On the Greeley Stampede website, www.greeleystampede.org, you’ll gather information on every event and prices.
Cheyenne Frontier Days: Plan to attend Cheyenne Frontier Days, from Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 28. For a schedule and information, go to www.cfdrodeo.com. Click on Free Events, Families with Kids, Families with Teens, and any other listing that interests you.
Take in Indian Village on the southeast corner of Frontier Park. Admission is free. These Native American performers entertain with dances, music, and storytelling. They also educate visitors about their heritage and culture. Vendors provide a taste of traditional food and exhibits of traditional items.
This year’s Grand Parade’s theme is the Evolution of Transportation. Quite an improvement over the earliest parades whose participants galloped through the streets of Cheyenne causing havoc. They shot out upper story windows and lassoed pretty girls. Float highlights include many from the past created by Dazee Bristol as early as 1926. She added more in the 30s and 40s. Also see top marching bands and horse drawn vehicles.
On the northeast corner of Frontier Park, visit the Old West Museum and browse the gift shop. Exhibits display the rich history of this the “Daddy of ‘em all,” which includes western artifacts, expansion of the American West, and the annual art show.
Activities include concerts by nationally known western artists: Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson, and Rascal Flatts. Each performs in conjunction with special guests. And, of course, there are multiple days of rodeo events from calf roping to bronco and bull riding. Go to www.cfdrodeo.com, for information.
If you’ve never attended either the Stampede or Frontier Days, get ready for a rip roarin’ good time.