DODGE CITY, Kansas– “Dodge City is the cowboy capital of the world,” said R.C. Trotter, President of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. “The cowboy is so much a part of all of us, and a cowboy doesn’t have to wear a cowboy hat, it’s what’s in your heart.”
Throughout the year the Kansas town gets visitors from all over the world, especially at the Boot Hill museum.
“I’ve hung out with people in here from literally all over the planet,” said Boot Hill’s Long Branch Saloon Supervisor Brad Smalley. “They might speak two words of English and nine times out of ten, those words are akin to cowboy or Gun Smoke.”
Boot Hill has about 100,000 visitors each year, but for Dodge City Days, that many people will show up for at least one of the 70 events.
Over the course of the ten days there will be cattle drives, barbecues, concerts, and one of the biggest rodeo contests in the country with a grand prize of over $300,000.
“Bringing all of that to Dodge City is just a way of recognizing our heritage and having a lot of fun doing it at the same time,” Trotter said.
An estimated three million dollars spent throughout the festival leaves a large economic impact.
“It generates $9 million to the economic development of Dodge City, so we’re excited about that, it’s a big deal!” said Cassandra Fisher, the Marketing Director for the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is the overall sponsor of the festival.
On top of the economic benefit, locals are happy to share their town’s history. “I’m proud, I’m 100% proud that Dodge City does this, and that the city takes the time out of the year, for ten days, to do this,” said Miguel Coca, an entertainer at Boot Hill.
The festival runs from July 25th to August 3rd.
Click here for a full list of events here.