CHEYENNE, Wyo — The 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), a huge, 10-day Western celebration, opens Friday, July 23.
The "Daddy of 'em All" has been held since 1897 so that Cheyenne can celebrate its Old West roots. In 2020, CFD was cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history.
This year the festival is back and more than 140,000 people will visit Cheyenne for a packed schedule of rodeos, parades, pancake breakfasts, an airshow with the Thunderbirds and concerts with Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, Maren Morris, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett and more.
The centerpiece of the celebration is the world's largest outdoor rodeo which draws the top profesionals who compete for more than $1 million in prize money.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2021 Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Cheyenne Frontier Days always brings the top names in entertainment to perform at Frontier Nights and this year is no exception.
Music icon Garth Brooks will kick off the 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days on Friday. Other headliners this summer include Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown and Cody Johnson.
Brett Young, Aaron Watson, Restless Road, Ned Ledoux, Rhett Akins, John King and Ashley McBryde are also scheduled to perform as opening acts.
Professional Bull Riders (PBR) will hold night events on Monday and Tuesday.
CFD 2021 Concert Schedule
- Friday, July 23 — Garth Brooks with Ned Ledoux
- Saturday, July 24 — Thomas Rhett with Rhett Akins
- Sunday, July 25 — Cody Johnson with Aaron Watson
- Monday, July 26 — PBR: Last Cowboy Standing
- Tuesday, July 27 — PBR: Last Cowboy Standing
- Wednesday, July 28 — Maren Morris with Brett Young
- Thursday, July 29 — Eric Church with Ashley McBryde
- Friday, July 30 — Kane Brown with Restless Road
- Saturday, July 31 — Blake Shelton with John King
Tickets for the Frontier Nights shows are on sale now at CFDRodeo.com and by phone at 307-778-7222.
Tickets to see Garth Brooks' return to Cheyenne sold out in less than an hour in April. Brooks last played CFD in 1996.
"Hey Cheyenne, Garth Brooks here, proud to say I cannot wait to see you for the 125th," Brooks said. "I carry my buckle from the 100th everywhere I go. If you've seen us, you've seen me wear it — award shows, album covers, still have that thing."
"I am going to need a buckle belt to go with my 100, so 125, right next to 100. Thanks for remembering me," Brooks said. "Thanks for giving me some of the greatest moments of my life — to come, as well. I love you guys. Cowboy up."
The only thing better than pancakes is free pancakes. Cheyenne Frontier Days' Pancake Breakfasts are legendary and draw tourists from around the world.
Volunteers in downtown Cheyenne will serve up more than 100,000 flapjacks, cook 3,000 pounds of ham, serve 9,200 cartons of milk and 520 gallons of coffee with 630 pounds of butter and 475 gallons of syrup.
The three pancake breakfasts — which are completely free to the public — will take place Monday, July 26, Wednesday, July 27 and Friday, July 30.
9Neighborhoods: Explore Cheyenne, Wyoming
Just outside of the rodeo arena, Old Frontier Town features Western merchants, craftspeople, artisans and special faces from the Old West.
The town's petting zoo is a must-see if you have children.
Cheyenne is known around the world for its love of rodeo. There will be nine days of rodeo action this year.
Events in the rodeo include bareback riding, barrel racing, breakaway roping, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie down roping.
The carnival midway at CFD has thrilling rides, kids rides and amazing carnival food. What more is there to say?
The midway is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will scream across the blue Wyoming sky on Wednesday, July 28 at 9 a.m.
The sharply-choreographed air demonstration will feature the Thunderbirds' thrilling aerial acrobatics over Cheyenne's F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
American Indians have always been an important part of Western history and it's no different at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
The park's Indian Village hosts American Indian performers who educate visitors about American Indian heritage and culture. There are also Native American craft and food vendors.
Downtown Cheyenne is the location of four Grand Parades that draw visitors from around the world. The parades feature top marching bands and the most horse-drawn vehicles you'll see anywhere.
The parades will take place on Saturday, July 24, Tuesday, July 27, Thursday, July 29 and Saturday, July 31 at 9 a.m. in downtown Cheyenne.
Cheyenne Frontier Days lets visitors see how such a huge event is put on with daily Behind the Chutes tours. The free tours let visitors meet the animals, step into the chutes and walk across the arena floor.
The tours are held most days at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The Old West Museum at Cheyenne Frontier Days is a world-renowned museum of Western artifacts and art. The museum has one of the most-extensive collections of horse-drawn carriages west of the Mississippi and has exhibits showcasing the history of CFD.
This summer, a bronze statue of Chris LeDoux is to be added to the sculpture collection at Frontier Park. The sculpture from D. Michael Thomas of Buffalo, Wyoming, memorializes the ties of Chris LeDoux to rodeo, music and CFD history.
"One of my favorite memories is the fact that I got to play with Chris LeDoux, the man," said Garth Brooks. "So I can't thank you for all the gifts you've given me. I'm looking forward to the 125th. I'm looking forward to the fact that it's dedicated to Chris. Can't wait for the unveiling of the statue."
If you aren't able to see the Old West Museum during this year's event, the museum is open year round.
Cheyenne Frontier Days: Daddy of 'em All
Cheyenne Frontier Days runs from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, Aug. 1 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Held the last full week of every July since 1897 except for 2020, Frontier Days carried on through both World Wars and the Great Depression, when tough finances prompted it to become a mostly volunteer-run festival of rodeo, music concerts, parades and other events.
A complete Cheyenne Frontier Days schedule and event tickets can be found at CFDRodeo.com.
> Top stories curated daily just for you! Sign up for the 9NEWSLETTER to get can’t-miss stories, Next and Broncos content, weather and more delivered right to your inbox.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: National Western Stock Show
MORE WAYS TO GET 9NEWS
Subscribe to our daily 9NEWSLETTER
HOW TO ADD THE 9NEWS APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KUSA.
For both Apple TV and Fire TV, search for "9news" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.