The old western culture of the United States is an international point of interest in American history. This fascinating period of time is filled with wonder and legend, and is something that is best understood through personal experience. Gillette, Wyoming is one of the best places to visit the old west. There is much to do in Gillette and there are certain places you should visit in order to get the full potential out of your trip.
While most people may not have heard of Gillette before, those in the coal industry respect it as the energy capital of the world. The massive amount of coal being mined in Gillette is just as important to the city now as it was back in the days of cowboys and Indians. Fascinating tours of the old coal mines are available in Gillette that really uncovers the harsh conditions that miners had to endure in the 1800’s. Most of these tours are guided by very knowledgeable national park workers and provide you with valuable and accurate information about the old coal industry.
In 1891, Gillette began as a railroad terminal to transport the coal, resulting in the large amount of railroad tracks to be built in the area. This is one of the very first things you will notice when you arrive in Gillette. Trains were a vital method of transportation in the old west, and the most common way people back then transported their cargo. Once a vast amount of coal was discovered in the city, coal miners and entrepreneurs alike flocked to Gillette to gain a chance at potential profits and job opportunities. This created a coal centered economy, and it is very safe to say that the coal industry is what made the city as important as it was. Truly understanding the importance of the railroad system in the old west is a very important step in understanding the time period as a whole. To gain more knowledge of this, the city of Gillette offers tourists several tours of the train yards that cover the city.
Annual Cowboy States Bull Games
Few things are as iconic to the old west as a good old fashioned rodeo. Luckily for fans of this, the city of Gillette offers several rodeos that occur at different times of the year. Rodeos were a central part of the culture of the old west, and are an essential part of getting the full old west experience. Perhaps the best example of this is the Annual Cowboy States Bull Games. This provides you with hours of bull riding entertainment along with several other key rodeo events. The Annual Cowboy States Bull Games begin at 10:00 A.M. with a free show, and conclude at 9:00 P.M. which could potentially provide an entire day of old western entertainment for you and your family. While an afternoon of bull riding might not be appealing to some, it is definitely something that should be looked into by all who chose to visit the city.
Powder River Shrine Circus
Circuses in the old west would always mark a time of gathering and celebrating that sense of community we all share. This is still true today and the spirit of the old west can be felt at the Powder River Shrine Circus in Gillette, Wyoming. This circus takes place in the same location as the Annual Cowboy States Bull Games, but at a different time of the year, so it is important to schedule your trip properly based on the dates of the events. This fantastic local circus will really take you back to the 1800’s. Everything from the food to the entertainment manages to perfectly capture the essence of the old west. Exquisite animal shows involving a wide variety of professionally trained animals that both amaze and entertain. This is truly something that you will not want to miss on your trip to Gillette, as small town circuses of this quality are not easy to find.
Wild West Wrestling Championship
For the more adventurous and competitive visitor, the city is also home to the Wild West Wrestling Championship. This event will really take you back to the culture of the old west. The wrestling championship has open registration available so anyone can participate! This is a fantastic chance for the community to come together and celebrate their western heritage and should definitely be a point of interest for the athletically inclined visitor.
Overall, Gillette is one of the many cities in the west that still remember their heritage. The city offers several attractions to those interested in the old west and could prove to be one of your most fascinating vacations in a while. Gillette is also a great family friendly place to visit so you can feel comfortable bringing everyone along to experience the ways of the old west!