The festivities of the 4th of July start early in the day in Cody, WY. Tourists and locals alike gather around the bustling downtown main street to watch the Cody Stampede Parade that lasts for nearly an hour and features cowboys and Indians, muscle cars and horses, and of course the local beauty queens. Vendors from all across Wyoming and Montana have tents set up to display crafts at the temporary marketplace. These crafts can include custom made jewelry, custom furniture, clothing, accessories, paintings and carvings, hunting and fishing accessories, and fireworks. Food Is also showcased in the marketplace. There is usually an abundance of everything deep fried, snow cones, burgers and hot dogs, chili, fry bread, sweets and drinks.
No parking is allowed in downtown Cody when the parade takes place. Parking is located in the blocks surrounding the downtown area. There are only two small public parking lots and they fill up quickly. Parking is free around town however, so if you are driving, come before 9:00 am to find a great parking space.
People from around the world wait in anticipation for the world famous Cody Nite Rodeo that features world famous bull-riders and cowboys. Cody has several great vantage points from which to watch the fireworks. The rodeo sits right across the river from where the fireworks are shot off and is a perfect place for front row seats to the showcase. Also, on Stampede Avenue across from the local Nazarene church, the hill opens to a wide vista that offers a great view of the fireworks. There is plenty of parking available and room for camp chairs and those that want to stand.
Much of the local population lives outside of city limits on acres of their own land and ranches and much of the time they put on their own fireworks shows and invite friends and family over to barbeque.
The fireworks start right as the sun starts to set, which is about 10:00pm. As long as the strong winds do not blow and there is no serious rain, the fireworks commence on schedule. Usually, the fireworks are spread out over the horizon instead of having them shot off in a very small area and the colors and heights are varying to keep the watcher interested. The atmosphere all over Cody is one of excitement, awe and reverence for our great country.