As we gear up for the 120th annual "Daddy of 'em All", here's a look back at the very first Cheyenne Frontier Day celebration in 1897 (it was originally a one day event).

Wyoming State Archives

Colonel Edward Slack was the owner and editor of The Cheyenne Leader, the prominent local newspaper of its day. After attending the Greeley Potato Day festival, he and another local businessman developed the idea, and the name, for Cheyenne Frontier Day.

Richardson Collection, Wyoming State Archives

The first Cheyenne Frontier Day Committee rides in the inaugural parade on September 13, 1897.

Wyoming State Archives

In 1868, hundreds of spectators braved cold fall temperatures to see Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show and the 2nd United States Army Volunteer Cavalry lead the second annual CFD Parade.

Stimpson Collection, Wyoming State Archives

After breaking even in 1897 and turning a profit of $26 in 1898, Cheyenne Frontier Days quickly became one of the largest events in the region. By 1900, it attracted thousands of visitors, many of whom rode up from Denver by train.

Stimpson Collection, Wyoming State Archives

This panoramic photograph depitcs the crowd in 1901. By this time, Cheyenne Frontier Days was widely considered among the biggest and best rodeos in the country. Over a century later, it still is.