The Cheyenne Frontier Days™ Old West Museum and KFBC radio have teamed up to present A Christmas Carol, performed and produced by Cheyenne talent.
Originally, we hoped for an in-person fundraiser using the Museum’s new sound system to broadcast this radio drama, to bring much-needed income and support to the Museum after such a difficult year, as well as provide a light for our community during the holidays. However, in the interest of public safety, we have decided we cannot go forward with an in-person event. We are delighted to partner with KFBC to bring this event into people’s homes.
We have received word from friends, family, and service men and women around the world that they will be live streaming the show. So, you’ll be joining a community including Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Japan and even Greeley!
While we are offering this program to the public, we are selling 30-second ads and supporter mentions where we can celebrate your support of the CFD Old West Museum. If you are interested in supporting this program, please contact Jean Krause at email@example.com or (307) 778-7202 by Friday, December 18, 2020.
Join us on KFBC on December 23 at 6 p.m., and gather your family around the radio to enjoy this special production of A Christmas Carol.
By Senior Airman Braydon Williams, 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. — A presence of achievement fills the room, with walls covered in patches and awards of all sorts. Lt. Col. Chris Picinni, 90th Operation Support Squadron director of operations has led a 20-year career within the ICBM enterprise, but never thought he would be leading the charge in planning an airshow for the USAF Thunderbirds.
It started all started at a very early time in Picinni’s life, when his father served in the Air Force working electronic counter measures, during the Vietnam War, from then on, he knew the air force was right for him.
“Growing up with my dad enlisted in the Air Force, is what drove my desire to serve as well,” said Picinni. “His work on aircraft made me fall in love with the idea of flying and I had the goal of becoming a pilot.”
Soon after commissioning through ROTC in June 1999, Picinni’s plan to become a pilot was halted due to his vision not meeting Air Force standards.
“With my eyes not being quite good enough to fly, I ended up choosing missile operations and became a missileer.” Said Picinni
Picinni executed the primary mission of Air Force missileers from 2000 to 2004 when he moved between a few different duties before becoming a part of the Airborne Command Post on the U.S. Navy E6-B Mercury.
The ABNCP primarily functions as a communications relay platform for U.S. Navy submarines, it also serves as an Airborne Launch Control System. The ALCS is joint-manned by U.S. STRATCOM battle staff mission members from the Navy and Air Force.
“It took me 15 years in the Air Force to get the chance to fly, and it was on a Navy plane, but I made it,” said Picinni. “I served as the mission commander and was in charge of the battle staff for 4 years.”
When Picinni finished his tour with the E6B, he later moved to F.E. Warren AFB as the 90th OSS DO, where he was selected as the project officer for the annual Thunderbirds airshow during Cheyenne Frontier Days the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and wester festival.
“I was put up for this by Lt. Col. Christopher Maroney the former commander of OSS,” said Picinni. “He recommended me and from the looks of it, base leadership agreed with him that I was right for the job.”
2019 marks the first year in 25 years that the Thunderbirds will be flying in the skies above F.E. Warren, instead of the fields around Laramie County Community College.
“Air show planning is a very involved process,” said Picinni. “I’ve been working with people from all walks of Air Force life, from civil engineers and helicopter pilots to security forces and vehicle operators. Every person I’ve worked with as been vital to getting this airshow up and running, and I am grateful for their hard work.”
Cheyenne Frontier Days refreshed an economic impact study last year to quantify the economic benefits generated from visitors outside of Laramie County to the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County. Dean Runyan Associates, of Portland, Oregon conducted the research using data generated from the 2018 event; prior studies were conducted in 2015 and 2012. Dean Runyan Associates also produces economic impact research for the Wyoming Office of Tourism.
The 2018 edition of the Daddy of ‘em All was a solid year for attendance despite heavy, daily rainfalls. A total of 543,705 people attended all combined events during the ten-day celebration and a total of 247,655 tickets were sold.
Economic impacts resulting from direct visitor spending surrounding the event totaled approximately $27.1 million, down slightly from $28 million in 2015, which was a record year for attendance.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Hirsig said, “We are pleased to report this economic benefit to our city and county. Our mission is to bring visitors to Cheyenne and Laramie County to support economic well-being for the entire community. We continue to focus on this priority and deliver consistent results.”
“We are proud of our volunteers and the work that we do to support Cheyenne and Laramie County,” said Jimmy Dean Siler, General Chairman. “In collaboration with city and county officials, we host visitors from across town, all fifty states and around the globe, to experience the history and traditions of the iconic American West.”
2018 Economic impacts of visitors who reside outside of Laramie County
● Visitors to Cheyenne Frontier Days spent $27.1 million in Laramie County.
● These visitors spent approximately $5.3 million on food and beverages in restaurants and bars, $5.1 million on overnight accommodations, $7.8 million on entertainment and recreation, including ticket sales, and $8.8 million on retail purchases, including motor fuel and groceries.
● Other direct economic impacts include approximately 302 full- and part-time jobs, $5 million in earnings (wage and salary disbursements), $633,000 in local tax revenue, and $683,000 in state tax revenue.
● Total economic impacts resulting from direct visitor spending which include secondary impacts, also known as “multiplier effects,” resulted in approximately $35 million of business activity generated for Laramie County.
2018 Profile of Cheyenne Frontier Days Attendees
● The majority of Cheyenne Frontier Days attendees participated in a Frontier Nights/Concert (72%) and/or the Rodeo (74%).
● A large portion (68%) attended Cheyenne Frontier Days during a previous year.
● Attending Cheyenne Frontier Days was the primary purpose for travel to Laramie County for the vast majority of overnight (79%) and day (97%) visitors.
● Just under half (49%) of Cheyenne Frontier Days attendees stayed overnight while traveling.
● Among overnight visitors, over half (68%) stayed in a hotel, motel, lodge, or B&B; most of the reminder stayed in private homes with friends and relatives, or in campgrounds.
● Cheyenne Frontier Days attendees traveled to or through a number of Wyoming communities and places including: Laramie, Casper, Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole, Snowy Range, and Cody.
Unique Attendees and Attendees from Outside of Laramie County
Unique Attendees Outside of Laramie County Attendees
2012 144,000 112,313
2015 149,300 125,397
2018 142,000 105,689
Cheyenne Frontier Days is a major Rocky Mountain regional event with numerous Western heritage activities and experiences; while some events charge admission, many events are free. Attendance measures include totals that track both paid attendance and total attendance. It is recognized as the consummate Western heritage, cultural, and entertainment experience in the world. Cheyenne Frontier Days is a top attraction in the state of Wyoming behind Yellowstone National Park, Jackson and Grand Teton National Park.
“It’s no surprise Cheyenne Frontier Days attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe,” said Diane Shober, Executive Director for the Wyoming Office of Tourism. “As one of Wyoming’s most treasured events, CFD brings the cowboy history and spirit to life during its ten-day celebration.”
Hirsig recognizes the importance of Cheyenne Frontier Days to the rest of Wyoming as a travel destination. “This study shows that many travelers incorporate CFD into their summer plans that include other destinations, or a road trip, in Wyoming. In this way, we deliver a positive economic impact not only to our community, but to our entire state, as part of a larger itinerary.”
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — July 29, 2018 — It’s been 86 years since a saddle bronc rider won back-to-back championships at Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), but local favorite Brody Cress was not intimidated by history.
The 22-year-old from nearby Hillsdale won his hometown rodeo in 2017, an accomplishment that fueled the rest of his season and helped him win his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo championship last December. Cress is sponsored by CFD and proudly wears the legendary rodeo’s iconic arrowhead logo on his chaps and his shirts. “There’s no other rodeo I’d want to represent,” he said.
Last year he came into Championship Sunday in second place and had to ride two broncs after being awarded a re-ride. He won the title by half a point. This year he came in with the overall lead and had to wait on Texan Wyatt Casper’s re-ride to see if his lead would hold for his second, record-setting CFD Championship. The crowd of 12,401 erupted with cheers and were on their feet when Cress took his victory lap around the arena.
The biggest money winner at the 122nd “Daddy of ‘em All” was steer wrestler Levi Rudd. The Chelsea, Oklahoma, cowboy earned $21,396. When the day began he had already collected more than $11,000 in the first and second rounds. He added nearly $900 for fourth place in the final round and about $9,500 for winning the overall championship by 1.1 second.
Rudd had competed at CFD twice in the past but had never done well. “I was happy after I won the first round since I’d never done any good here,” he said. Rudd started the week ranked 50th in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) steer wrestling standings. He more than doubled his season earnings after his win here and jumped about 20 spots in the standings.
Three-time world champion bareback rider Will Lowe started the day in sixth place, but an 88-point ride on Sankey Pro Rodeo’s Black Tie earned the Canyon, Texas, cowboy his third CFD championship and nearly $16,000. He previously won here in 2009 and 2012. Lowe, who has qualified for 14 National Finals Rodeos (NFR) is grateful to still be riding at the highest level 10 years after winning his first title in Frontier Park.
“It’s so awesome to be able to still be here, riding with these guys and still be competitive,“ he said. The win here should help his quest for a 15th NFR berth.
Lowe joins three legendary cowboys – Jim Shoulders, Joe Alexander and Clint Corey – as the only ones to win three bareback riding championships here.
Idaho bull rider Ruger Piva has accomplished something in the past year that many bull riders never will in their entire careers. Last September Piva, now 23, won the Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon. This week he competed for the first time at CFD, rode all three of his bulls and left with more than $10,000 in prize money and a Cheyenne Frontier Days title. The 23-year-old former high school and college wrestler can now claim wins at two of the most historic and prestigious rodeos in North America.
“If you had told me two years ago that I would win Pendleton and Cheyenne within a year, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Piva said. “Cheyenne felt a lot bigger than I expected. I hid in the ready room and watched the action on the tv screen.
He received congratulations from four-time world champion J.W. Harris, who finished second. As Harris walked away, Piva asked Harris for an autograph. “He’s one of my heroes,” Piva explained.
For the second year, weather affected the Championship Sunday competition. Last year it rained, but this year a tornado warning issued during the rodeo resulted in a weather delay of about 20 minutes. When competition resumed, rain and hail came down, particularly during the barrel racing.
World champion Nellie Miller and her horse Rafter W Minnie Reba, that she calls “Sister,” were on the course during some of the worst of the weather, but the California duo made a solid run. Although they did not win money in the final round, their total time of 53.21 seconds earned Miller the championship. She won $19,530 and helped boost her lead in the 2018 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) standings. Miller and her father, Sam Williams, raised and trained Sister, who got her name because she is a half-sister to the horse Miller rode to her first NFR in 2010.
Second-generation rodeo athlete Brodie Poppino of Big Cabin, Oklahoma, came into Championship Sunday ranked fifth in steer roping. It was the first time he qualified for Championship Sunday in seven years of trying.
Poppino won the final round by nearly six seconds, riding his 22-year-old horse named Shaggy, a full brother to the horse his mother, Tana Poppino, rode to qualify for the NFR in barrel racing. “He stays in the pasture most of the year and about a month before we start legging him up for Cheyenne,” Poppino said.
“This is one of the most prestigious, one of the oldest rodeos in the world. It’s called “The Daddy” for a reason,“ he said. “Everybody wants to win this one. It’s a dream come true.”
Tie-down roper Shane Hanchey credits his horse Si, the 2017 horse of the year, for helping him come from seventh place to win his first CFD title. The former world champion and eight-time NFR qualifier had the second-fastest time on Sunday. Although he did not place in the first two rounds, he earned more than $13,000.
“I never really dreamed of winning this rodeo,” he said. “I weigh 140 pounds. All I’ve ever heard since I was about four years old is how big the calves were and how little people didn’t fare very well (at Cheyenne). I don’t show emotions very much, but this win’s got me shook up.”
Coming from the middle of the field to take the title was a trend in the roping events. Tennessee’s Chad Masters and Oklahoma’s Joseph Harrison were sixth in team roping when the day began, but out-paced the rest to win the final round. Their total time of 26.4 earned Masters his second CFD title (his first was in 2009) and Harrison his first.
Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, won his eighth CFD championship when he took home the all-around title for the fourth time. He has also won a team roping and three steer roping championships at CFD.