Cheyenne Frontier Days

Posted on July 28th, 2007 by Nathan.
Categories: Friday Drive With Nate, Life, Video Production.

This week’s “Friday Drive With Nate” was back to Cheyenne, Wyoming for Cheyenne Frontier Days. I had heard about Cheyenne Frontier Days from commercials, and I was in Cheyenne for a little bit last Friday and it was just getting going, but it really didn’t kick off until that night. I didn’t stick around for it because there were other places I wanted to go, so I went back yesterday.
Cheyenne Frontier Days

It is sort of like a county fair, but this event focuses solely on grandstand entertainment. It goes for about nine days, and there are rodeos every day and concerts every night. In the West they do things in a BIG way, so are BIG rodeos and BIG concerts! They had a descent midway but only one commercial building with exhibits. There was the usual fair food too. They grounds are probably no larger than the Winnebago County Fairgrounds, but in Cheyenne the grandstands are huge (two sets of them) and the place is permanently set up for rodeos….so the chutes and all of that stuff weren’t brought in (from what I could tell).

Here is a picture of the grandstand inside the track, and that is where the chutes are located. That is the small grandstand!
Cheyenne Frontier Days
I don’t know how many thousands of people the grandstands held….but they held a lot!

This was much different than the rodeos that I’ve been to at the county fairs in the Midwest! This rodeo lasted three and a half hours and there was no dead time or intermission! The payouts were much higher here too….many in the tens of thousands of dollars! Plus, Cheyenne had three inches of rain the night before, so the arena was pure mud! When they jumped off the horses for the steer wrestling a lot of mud flew!

Being the tech guy that I am, I was looking at the technology they used! They had live videos feeds for us to see, so that was cool. This was the first time I had been to an event where one of these were used.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
I have seen these big screens at a technology show in Las Vegas, but I hadn’t seem them in use anywhere besides there. These screens are hydraulic and they turn and point wherever you want, and when they’re done they lower into the semi trailer for transporting.
Cheyenne Frontier Days

As soon as the rodeo was over they started packing up the screens and then they had to set up the stage for Friday night’s concert. Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, and Gretchen Wilson played Friday night. The rodeo got over at 4:30 p.m., and the concert started at 8:00 p.m. They had a lot of work to do so that they could have a concert in three and a half hours! First they pulled out a trailed with rigging holding the speakers.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
There were two of these trailers.

Then came the really cool part….they pulled the entire assembled stage out onto the track and got it lined up with the speakers.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Cheyenne Frontier Days
They pulled it out behind the first trailer with speakers, then hooked onto the other side to pull it back and straighten it out, and then hooked onto the other side again to pull it in and get it set. As you can see from all of the pictures, they pulled that equipment through a lot of mud!

I figured that would be something cool to help with. I could do something with their video or lighting (they moved at least one of the semis with the screens over and set that up by the stage, so I’m guessing there was live video for the show) because I have experience with that stuff, plus, I could drive one of the tractors to pull the stage out! Being part of a big production like that would be really cool! That part of the reason I like camp every year in Kentucky because it is a big production for us (even though it doesn’t even begin to compare to Cheyenne)! If you would like to see more high-res pictures of the technical side of things, you can download a zipped folder with pictures by right-clicking here and choosing ‘Save Target As’.

So anyways….the rodeo was really neat and watching them do some of the setup for the concert was really neat too! I didn’t stay to watch them set everything up, but I did stay long enough to watch them bring the stage in. I thought about going to the concert, but then I decided I didn’t want to pay $27 to go see it by myself. I walked around the one commercial exhibit building for a while and bought some things, then I headed back to Denver. The 75 MPH speed limit on I-25 is really nice! Amazingly I was basically going the speed limit and I was passing a bunch of people. I guess not everyone decides to take advantage of the 75 MPH speed limit….or they can’t get their vehicle to go that fast!

Out of all of my drives, yesterday would rank right down towards the bottom for fewest miles driven. Yesterday I only went 207 miles and was in my vehicle for three hours and twenty-one minutes.

Now….where to next week??? Anyone have any ideas for me!

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