Hello from Wyoming,

 

   Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) has just finished here in Wyoming and we have begun to turn our attention to next year’s event.  My mother and I are planning for a Brabazon Family Reunion during the 2009 CFD.

   First, here is a little background information. Mom and I attended the reunion cruise last year hosted by Chris and Carol of Florida.  Everyone had such a great time and it was decided to have another reunion in two years. This time we thought we would try our hand as hosts.  The best time of the year to visit Wyoming is during Cheyenne Frontier Days so we naturally planned our reunion to coincide with that event.  Cheyenne Frontier Days is a ten day rodeo and western celebration held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, every year.  It is the oldest continuously running rodeo and also the largest outdoor rodeo in the world.  It is affectionately known as the ‘Daddy of ‘em All’.  It routinely draws visitors from all over the world.  The rodeo has more contestants than any other rodeo and includes the top professional cowboys and cowgirls in the world.  Winning a buckle at Frontier Days is one of the most highly coveted and respected prizes among rodeo professionals.  It is important to mention that Cheyenne Frontier Days is produced and operated almost entirely by volunteers.  More than 2,000 citizens of Cheyenne (population 55,000) volunteer every year to operate the entire ten day event.  For more information about CFD please visit the web site at: http://www.cfdrodeo.com/index.aspx. 

Itinerary for Reunion

Fri - July 17, 2009

5:30 pm – Dinner at Terry Bison Buffalo Ranch Dinner will be a burrito bar with all the toppings, rice, beans, tossed salad, drink and dessert. We plan on using this time for introductions and general greetings. We also plan on having a guest speaker but have yet to confirm with anyone.

Sat – July 18, 2009

8:00 am – Leave for Parade in downtown Cheyenne We will be providing a van at this time to deliver attendees from Terry Bison to downtown Cheyenne.  (For those who do not have transportation or would like a ride.)

9:30 am – Parade

12:00 pm – Depart for Rodeo at Frontier Park We will be providing a van at this time to deliver attendees from downtown Cheyenne to Frontier Park.  (Again, for those who want or need a ride.) Lunch today will be on your own.  Restaurants are available in the downtown area as well as food vendors at the Park.

1:00 pm – Rodeo at Frontier Park

After the rodeo we will have the van available to deliver attendees back to Terry Bison.  The van will depart immediately after the Rodeo and again two or three hours later for those who would like to stay at the Park and explore the booths and Midway.

Sun – July 19, 2009    10:30 am – Buffalo Tour at Terry Bison Ranch. Terry Bison provides a one hour Train Tour (handicap accessible) of their facility and bison herd.  This is a great photography opportunity. A lunch of Buffalo burgers, beans, coleslaw and cookies is provided as part of the tour.  This is in essence the closing of the reunion and the last chance to visit as a group.

After Lunch – Photograph. As a final event for the reunion we would like to have an Old Time group photograph.  Costumes are available at Terry Bison and copies of the photo will be available.

 

Accommodations

We have made arrangements with Terry Bison Buffalo Ranch to host our reunion.  Terry Bison is an operating Buffalo Ranch as well as a Guest Ranch that offers visitors a wide variety of entertainment.  They have 7 cabins available for reservations at $175.00 per night as well as a bunkhouse with 13 rooms and shared bathrooms for $58.95 per night.  All cabins and rooms in the bunkhouse sleep two people.  They have 86 full hook up RV sites for those with trailers for $33.95 per night as well as dry sites and tent sites with no services for those who really want to ‘rough it’ for $18.95 and $16.95 per night, respectively. Because of the limited number of available rooms, Terry Bison does not normally accept reservations before January 1st for Cheyenne Frontier Days.  And they are usually completely booked the first week of January.  They have graciously agreed to accept reservations for the Brabazon family reunion from now until December 15th, at which time areas set aside for us and not reserved will be put out for the general public.  Just contact the reservation desk at (307) 634-4171 and mention that you want to reserve a room or space and are with the Brabazon family reunion.  They do not accept credit cards.  They will send you a statement and you will need to pay in full by check or money order within two weeks of the time you made your reservation.  We highly recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible, preferably now. 

There are many other accommodations available in Cheyenne if you choose not to stay at Terry Bison.  Everything from Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, to Dude Ranches is in the community.  Information about other accommodations can be found at the Cheyenne Frontier Days web site: http://www.cfdrodeo.com/index.aspx
Unfortunately, lodging is not inexpensive.  As with Terry Bison, we highly recommend that you make your reservations for lodging early in order to find a room.

Transportation

The closest major airport is located in Denver, Colorado. Cheyenne is located about 82 miles north of Denver International Airport.  If you are flying into DIA you have the option of renting a car from any of the major rental agencies or taking a second flight into the Cheyenne Regional Airport on Great Lakes Airlines.  Just a word of warning, if you are uncomfortable in small passenger planes, then you might want to avoid flying directly into Cheyenne.  If you need help arranging transportation from DIA, please contact us and we will try to assist.

Cheyenne is a relatively small town and as a result does not have a highly developed public transportation system.  We will be providing some transportation via a van during the reunion.  If you wish to have other transportation, there are taxi services and car rental agencies available in town.

 On a side note, there are many other events and activities that are available during Frontier Days.  We just planned a few that we thought everyone might enjoy, but if you are looking for other activities or plan on extending your trip a bit, here are some other things you might want to consider.

At Terry Bison

Terry Bison has facilities available for horseback riding, buffalo tours, fishing, as well as a Kid Corral filled with games for those with young children.

Cheyenne Events

Cheyenne will host nine consecutive rodeos during the 10-day event.  We will be purchasing group tickets for the first ‘go-round’ on July 18th.  If you find you particularly enjoy the event, tickets will be available from the ticket office on the grounds for the other seven ‘go-rounds’ and the finals which are held on the last day, July 26th.  (You will be given a choice of the best seats available at the time you purchase, or you may purchase additional tickets on line.)

Frontier Day is particularly proud of its evening entertainment.  Night shows will be held every evening featuring PBR (Professional Bull Riding) shows as well as performances from top names in Country and Rock Music.  (Entertainers are not announced until December, 2008.)

Frontier Park always has booths and vendors from all over the area as well as a Behind the Chutes Tour, a Midway with Carnival Rides, the Buckin’ A Saloon with live entertainment, Wild Horse Gulch with time period characters, and the Indian Village with native American music, dancing, and crafts.

The Old Fashioned Melodrama is held every year in a hundred year old theater downtown.  I just attended this last year and it is quite the production and a lot of fun.

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds perform every year on Wednesday.  This is accompanied with a static air show.

 

There is a free pancake breakfast served Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 7:00 until 10:00 am.  This is quite an event and something definitely worth attending.  They serve more than 100,000 pancakes, with butter, syrup, ham, milk, and coffee.  The current record number of people served at this event stands at 16,897 in a single day with a 39,111 total over the three days.  Despite the high number of people and what always looks like a daunting line, the event is always well organized with people standing in line an average of twenty minutes and being entertained though out with live music.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the night life in Cheyenne.  During Frontier Days the local bars are usually crawling with party-goers.  This is a constant of the Frontier Days atmosphere and can be quite a lot of fun; however, this is a much rowdier scene than events during the day, so if you choose to go out to the bars at night, be prepared.

In the Area

There are a lot of activities available in the area.  There are many dude ranches around that offer a taste of the western lifestyle such as cattle roping and horseback riding.  There are also a lot of whitewater rafting opportunities in the Fort Collins, Colorado area and in the southwestern part of Wyoming.  In the northwestern corner of the state (just kitty-corner from Cheyenne in our square state) is Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  Yellowstone is the nation’s first national park and has many natural wonders and abundant wildlife.  In the northeastern corner of the state is Devils Tower, a natural rock formation that has been featured in many movies as well as on our Wyoming license plates.  East from Devils Tower is the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The Black Hills has possibly some of the most beautiful mountainous countryside you will ever encounter.  It is also the home of Mount Rushmore, Sturgis (home of the world famous motorcycle rally), and the city of Deadwood. (If you have seen the show on HBO, you should see the real town and try your luck at the casinos.)

We are really excited about the reunion and are looking forward to meeting new family as well as reconnecting with those we have met before.  Please contact us at bchapman@crb1.k12.wy.us or sarahjoe78@hotmail.com and let us know if you are planning to attend, and if you have any special needs or questions that we can help you with.  Also, don’t forget to make those lodging reservations early.  Finally, if you are planning on attending the Friday night get together and dinner, the rodeo and the buffalo tour and lunch, please let us know as we need a head count for each event.  I will be purchasing the group rodeo tickets on December 1, so toss your hat into the Reunion Ring before that time and notify us.  Final payment for tickets and food needs to be made by May 1, 2009.  Prices in 2008 were as follows:  (They have not set the 2009 prices at this time.)

   Friday night dinner   $10.00 each

   Rodeo       $22.50 each

   Bison tour and lunch   $23.00 each

   Total         $55.50 each

 

Please make payments by May 1, 2009 to:

   Betty Chapman

   2418 Kilmary Drive

   Rawlins, WY 82301  

  

 

Thank you so much and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sarah J. Chapman (sarahjoe78@hotmail.com) &

Betty (Brabazon) Chapman (bchapman@crb1.k12.wy.us)