From the Archive: “Rar’in To Go”: Rodeo Season along the Front Range

By Tiffani Righero, Research Assistant, Local History Archive

Rodeo season is in full swing along the Front Range, just as it has been for over one hundred years.  From bull riding, calf roping and goat tying to parades and pancake breakfasts, the Front Range has featured these competitions and celebrations each summer.

Fort Collins hosted many rodeos over the years.  Colorado State University held College Days each spring between 1910 and 1987 to celebrate school spirit.  Starting in the 1920s the celebration included a rodeo called the Skyline Stampede.  This rodeo is still held each spring and is the oldest running collegiate rodeo in the country. The following photograph is from the Skyline Stampede in 1938.

Additionally, the university’s Rodeo Club has been a mainstay among extracurricular activities. This image shows the Rodeo Club’s page in the 1958 edition of Silver Spruce, the university’s yearbook.

Another Fort Collins rodeo was the Round-Up.  A program in the Local History Archive outlines all of the events at the July 4-5, 1921 Second Annual Round-Up hosted by Frank Miller.  For contestants and spectators “Rar’in To Go,” this rodeo hosted over twenty-two events and a parade, drawing local and national rodeo competitors.  Some events included calf roping with a $200 purse, the ladies’ cow pony race with a $50 purse and an exhibition of fancy shooting by Frank C. Miller and Capt. A.H. Hardy. The program also tells about a play, written by Courtney Ryley Cooper, which was slated to be filmed at the Round-Up.  It was to be released under the title White Riders of the Range, although no evidence of the film’s completion exists.  Here is the front cover of the 1921 program.

Every summer since 1897, Cheyenne, Wyoming has held a rodeo that is currently the largest outdoor rodeo.  For this reason it has gained the nickname, “The Daddy of ‘em All.”  This rodeo is known for its Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) rodeos, headline concerts, pancake breakfasts, United State Air Force Thunderbirds show, Indian Village, and carnival.  These photographs were printed in The Denver Post in 1935.

While the Greeley Stampede, the Rooftop Rodeo in Estes Park, and Laramie Jubilee Days Rodeo have already passed this summer, if you are “Rar’in To Go,” there are still many upcoming rodeos.  These include “The Daddy of ‘em All” Cheyenne Frontier Days, Cheyenne, WY, July 20- August 1; Little Britches Rodeo, Pueblo, July 23-31; Boulder County Fair, Longmont, August 6; Larimer County Fair, Loveland, August 8-10; Logan County Fair, Sterling, August 3-6; and Senior Pro Rodeo, Estes Park August 20-21; Sundance Bull Riding, Fort Collins, weekends in August.

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1 Response to “From the Archive: “Rar’in To Go”: Rodeo Season along the Front Range”


  1. 1 Treloar Bower July 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    So, will we see the author riding the bull at Sundance this August? If so, we might have to come cheer you on!


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