They don’t call Cody, Wyoming the Rodeo Capital of the World for nothing. Every night in Cody from June 1 through August 31, the Cody Nite Rodeo is held at Stampede Park. That’s right…every single night! This Western town is rodeo crazy, and after a night under the lights in the park with the backdrop of rocky bluffs overlooking the Shoshone River, you’ll understand why.
The Nite Rodeo is two hours of non-stop rodeo action, from bronco riding to barrel racing to roping to bull riding, and it draws rodeo athletes from all over the West. The emcee and rodeo clown keep everyone entertained between events, and the popcorn, soda, beer, and candy flow freely (which is not to say they’re free!).
We loved that while the Nite Rodeo grandstands were filled with tourists, locals certainly made their presence known: it was easy to see that this was as much their summer tradition as it was our vacation stop. Local cowboys rode in events, local kids sat astride the bull pen fence, and local families were in attendance. We’ve been to several ‘resort town’ rodeos, and it was easy to see that the Cody Nite Rodeo is the real deal. It’s low on frills, big on true American fun.
If you go, you’ll want to get tickets ahead of time (see below) to avoid waiting in line at the ticket booths, and we recommend crossing to the opposite side of the arena from the entrance to sit in the Buzzard’s Roost section. This side is equally shaded, but overlooks the bull pens, giving kids a better view. There’s a food concession on each side, as well as restrooms.
We ate hot dogs, corn dogs, and popcorn for dinner at the rodeo (no points for a healthy meal!) and they also serve standbys such as nachos, candy, and soda. Get there by 7:30 for the best seats, and by 8 pm if you don’t care about your view. Programs sells for $7, and they’re nice but not essential to follow what’s going on.
Be sure to have kids 12 and under participate in the Calf Scramble. This event allows kids to go down to the arena floor to chase a pair of calves around, attempting to pull a ribbon from their tails. Prizes are given and all kids have fun. (Toby won this event at his first rodeo in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but we weren’t as lucky this time around.)
Hours of operation:
: Every night, the rodeo starts at 8 pm and ends at 10 pm. Bring sweatshirts as it gets chilly once the sun dips below the bluffs!
Tickets are $18 for adults (13 and up) and $8 for kids. Age six and under free. Tickets can be bought on-site, or bought ahead of time at a number of Cody locations, including the Buffalo Bill Village. Tickets are good for any show June 1 through August 31.
The Nite Rodeo is located at Cody Stampede Park. It’s located at the west of town overlooking the Shoshone River at 519 W. Yellowstone Avenue.