CHEYENNE, Wyo. (CBS4)– More than 500,000 people are expected to attend events centered around the 121st annual Cheyenne Frontier Days. CBS4 is a proud sponsor of the annual event.READ MORE: 'If Roots Don't Get Moisture, They Die': Experts Say To Water Landscaping As Colorado Faces Abnormal Warm And Dry Spell
On July 20, gates will open for the show, which is known as the “Daddy of ’em All” with what is considered the biggest outdoor rodeo in the world.
“This means a lot to Cheyenne,” said Kenneth McCann, a long-time volunteer for the event.
Volunteers, like McCann, make the event possible. Nearly 3,000 volunteers work countless hours throughout the year, serving in at least 10 different committees.
Nearly a century ago, workers like McCann and Kim Floyd would have been paid. However, when the depression hit, the owners could not afford to pay the amount of employees needed.
“That is kind of the way volunteerism started here,” Floyd told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
McCann started volunteering at the rodeo in 1969.
“The first job I had, was parking cars,” McCann said.READ MORE: Booking Booster Shots Proves Challenging For Some Coloradans
However, decades later, he admitted he stuck around for his peers.
“At first, the real (reason I volunteered) was free beer. But then, after that, it went on to making friends,” McCann said.
Both McCann, and Floyd, described the group of volunteers as a large family.
“You meet some of the best people here,” Floyd said. “A lot of people from Colorado.”
With each year’s event gaining in popularity, long-time volunteers say they are more energized than ever to make it all possible.
“I’ll hang around as long as the good Lord lets me,” McCann said.
“As soon as this show is over this year, we will start working on next year,” Floyd said. “It is not just a bunch of work. But it is an awful lot of fun.”
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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.