Such prominent figures as “Cody” Bill Smith, Mel Stonehouse, Nick Knight and Caroline Lockhart are featured in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s “Whoop It Up!” exhibit celebrating 100 years of the Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede.
The exhibit opens to the public Friday at 8 a.m. when the museum opens for its business day.
The special exhibit links to this summer’s July 4 week Stampede Rodeo, the showcase of rodeo in Cody and named after William F. Cody, founder of the town.
Center librarian Mary Robinson, who helped organize the exhibit, which will run through March 2020, said it will include historical photographs, historical and contemporary film footage, and artifacts on loan from the Stampede Board of Directors.
The Stampede Board is in the midst of finalizing its multifaceted rodeo celebration that will include a free Clint Black concert, the Xtreme Bulls competition, four days of rodeo and other festivities.
“We don’t pretend to tell the whole story (of 100 years),” Robinson said.
Stonehouse, Knight and Smith are past champions being highlighted. Lockhart was one of the half-dozen Stampede organizers, as well as the event’s first president. As owner and editor of the Cody Enterprise, Lockhart energetically promoted the rodeo in print.
“She’s like no one else,” Robinson said.
The exhibit explores other early-day Cody July 4 history, as well as how rodeo took over as the featured event. It is tailored to appeal to local residents and out-of-area tourists, Robinson said.
“There is a bigger story than Cody,” she said.