This is one of my favorite times of the year in Cody, Wyoming. To me, Memorial Day is when the town really swings into Cody summer vacation mode with gusto.
By now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain Interpretive Center have switched to their summer hours, Cody Nite Rodeo is ready for its June 1st start, Old Trail Town has reopened, Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue are once again entertaining guests six nights a week and the East and Northeast Gates to Yellowstone National Park have reopened.
Pretty soon our own Cody Gunfighters will be bickering and brawling on the streets in front of the Irma Hotel, and before you know it we will be seeing a steady stream of road-trippers from around the country arriving to share in the fun of vacation in the American West.
And Cody has something extra special to celebrate this Memorial Day. The town will be dedicating the new World War I monument at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial during a public memorial service at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day.
As summer season starts, I often find myself reflecting on how our remarkable town got its start. Although he did envision tourism when he chose this ruggedly beautiful corner of northwest Wyoming, our town founder Buffalo Bill Cody certainly couldn’t have imagined how popular it would become for vacationers looking for some authentic summertime fun. He could only imagine, for example, that the quirky rock formations and abundant wildlife found on the road to Yellowstone would be a big draw for travelers. And he couldn’t know that Cody would ultimately be home to a world-renowned museum that bears his name.
I’m planning to spend the weekend bopping around Sheridan Avenue. I haven’t yet seen the current artist-in-residence at Buffalo Bill Center of the West, so that’s high on my list. And I will of course be at the dedication of the new monument. And I want to hear Dan Miller’s new show one night too. If you happen to see me be sure to stop and say hi. I’ll be the one wearing red, white and blue….and a big grin.
Until, next time, I’ll keep smilin’ in Cody Country!