Cheyenne Frontier Days will host its 125th anniversary celebration in full at Frontier Park from July 23 to Aug. 1, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The rodeo and surrounding entertainment events were canceled last year for the first time in Frontier Days history due to the coronavirus pandemic. An annual report from February showed the cancellation netted a $3.34 million loss in 2020.
In conjunction with the governor’s office and public health officials from the Global Center for Health Security at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, organizers plan to implement COVID-19 procedures to ensure cleanliness and sanitation.
However, there will be no limitations on crowd sizes for concerts, rodeo or other outdoor events, and masks will not be required, according to Tom Hirsig, CEO of Cheyenne Frontier Days. Hirsig and Gov. Mark Gordon spoke Wednesday afternoon at a news conference in Cheyenne.
A lineup announcement is expected Thursday evening, but a few performers have already been announced, including Garth Brooks. Thomas Rhett, Eric Church and Blake Shelton are also set to return this year after originally being scheduled for the 2020 lineup.
The rodeo previously announced that it will dedicate the 2021 event to to late Wyoming country music star and world rodeo champion Chris LeDoux.
Hirsig has taken note of college and professional sports and entertainment venues that have resumed playing to crowds and believes Cheyenne Frontier Days can follow a similar protocol.
“We are working continuously to safely and responsibly entertain our fans and put on a 125th “Daddy of ‘em All” that they will never forget,” Hirsig said.
The governor believes the state can do Cheyenne Frontier Days safely due to the low COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“This is welcome news for Wyoming, and people from around the country and the world, who have a trip to Cheyenne Frontier Days on their bucket list,” Gordon said in a statement. “Our big message that we want people to hear loud and clear today is that Wyoming is back and we are open for business.”
A number of other major rodeos canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, including the Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo in Casper. Rodeo committee members from rodeos in Cody, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Casper, Laramie and Cheyenne spoke with Gordon last summer in a joint announcement that the events would be canceled. The leaders of the Cody Stampede, however, changed course and decided to ultimately hold their event. No known coronavirus outbreaks were tied to the Stampede.