Dodge City Days are coming soon, July 30-August 7, with something for everyone planned

Jennifer Stultz
Dodge City Daily Globe
El Capitan is looking forward to Dodge City Days, coming soon July 30-August 7 this year in Dodge.

Get ready for fun at the 2021 Dodge City Days 'Code of the West' festival, coming soon, July 30-Aug. 7. Plans are in place to bring back many fan-favorite events from years past, plus a few new ones.

"I just really enjoy everything about Dodge City Days, seeing the fun people have, bringing in people from the surrounding communities, gathering together for a good time - that's why I volunteer my time, that's why I have been part of this for 14 years now," said Dodge City Days chairman John Bogner.

Bogner is especially happy to have the Hilmar Cheese Plant-sponsored free hamburger feed returning to Dodge City Days this year on Saturday, July 31, at Wright Park, right after the parade.

"Bring the family down, grab a free burger, stroll through the park and visit with world-famous pit masters as they compete for points and an invite to the BBQ World Championships," Bogner said.

Hilmar Cheese, along with NOR-AM, Cargill, National Beef and VVS Canteen, will provide 3,000 hamburgers, bag of chips and drinks, all free from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. or until supplies run out.

Hamburger Feed.mp4

New this year is a double-header feature of the KCBS Pro-Contest for barbecue aficionados at the park.

"Per request of the pro-barbecuers, we will have the cook-off going two days this year, Saturday and Sunday, allowing us to raise more money and give out $20,000 in prizes to our contestants," Bogner said.

The Dodge City Days event schedule is now online at the all new city website and on the new and improved Dodge City Days app that is available on the App Store and Google Play, just search "Dodge City Days." Updates will be made regularly for all events. Printed festival guides are available throughout Dodge City during the month of July.

Other events to take note of include the Dodge City Days Kickoff Concert on Friday, July 30, at the United Wireless Indoor Arena. This year stars of the show are country music artists Chris Lane, Tyler Farr and Adam Doleac.

Also a "go" this year is the 2021 edition of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

"Last year we were able to have the rodeo through the great efforts of the committee and our community partners," said R.C. Trotter. "We had a fantastic rodeo but we missed some fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will have great contestants and acts this year so we urge all of our fans to come out and enjoy the action."

The rodeo event schedule includes Xtreme Bulls at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3, then Wednesday through Sunday is traditional rodeo action, with Sunday being the finals night.

"We are the only PRCA Tour Rodeo in Kansas so you will see the best contestants and animal athletes," Trotter said. "You will once again have an opportunity to enjoy the greatest show on dirt - don't miss it."

To wrap up 2021 Dodge City Days, the Longhorn Cattle Drive will take place on Saturday, Aug. 7, on Wyatt Earp Blvd., sponsored by Boot Hill Casino & Resort and the Dodge City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Cattle will be driven by cowboys and cowgirls from Wyatt Earp and 4th Street directly west down Wyatt Earp Blvd. all the way to Wright Street where they will turn around and head back east to 4th Street again. This turnaround gives spectators a second chance to see these magnificent animals, descendants of the Spanish cattle that gave Dodge City its place in history as the "Queen of Cowtowns."

The El Capitan statue of a longhorn bull that watches over Wyatt Earp Blvd. and the Dodge City historic district was put in place in 1980 as a memorial to the more than 4-million head of longhorn cattle that were driven up the trail to the Santa Fe railhead in Dodge City between 1875 and 1886.

This year's Dodge City Days festival highlights the "Code of the West" theme in honor of the unwritten, socially agreed upon set of laws that have shaped the cowboy culture of the West and still holds true today. 

Dodge City Days is the second-largest festival in the state of Kansas, celebrated this year for the 61st time, always honoring the grit and stamina of the people who have called the area home for the last 149 years.

For up-to-date information about the events and schedules for Dodge City Days 2021, visit the website or visit the Facebook page at Dodge City Days.