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An anthropologist might see rodeo as a fading ritual to a passing way of life, but don't tell that to the fans who pack the stands at Frontier Days. It's actually one of the most popular spectator sports in the nation, as American as apple pie and baseball. Cheyenne's annual rodeo draws people from across the nation, and the best of the best cowboys.

Spectators from around the world pack into the stands to watch such events as steer wrestling, barrel racing, team roping, and the classic event -- and Wyoming's state symbol -- saddle bronc riding. It's enormous fun, but part of the attraction is that these men and women put themselves in harm's way, working enormous animals with a wild streak. In a world where risk is often an illusion created by entertainers, this is the real thing. Champion bull-rider Lane Frost died in the ring at Frontier Days in 1989.

Daily ticket prices start at $12 for bleachers at the far end of the arena; $16 for seats closer to the roping gates; and $24 for the center of the action -- the bucking chutes. Bull riding tickets cost more, from $29 to $39. Each night after the rodeo, country stars take the stage. Concert tickets run $20 to $60.