Current Issue

The thing about a rodeo queen

Julianna "Boo" Edwards served as Miss Frontier 2006. Photo: Michael Richmond

Don’t let the term rodeo queen confuse you. Oh, Julianna “Boo” Edwards has the beauty, grace and diplomacy of any Miss America all right, but her worn boots and the twinkle in her eye tell of the Western pride, toughness and charisma it takes to represent a community of real-life cowboys.

As Miss Frontier 2006, Edwards, a junior real estate and construction management major from Cheyenne, Wyo., has served as the official ambassador for Cheyenne Frontier Days-a 111-year-old celebration of Western heritage that includes the Sioux and Shoshone tribes and the largest outdoor rodeo in the world.

“What makes Frontier Days so special is all the tradition,” says Edwards, whose family has been involved since the 1920s. “People in Cheyenne have been volunteering and attending this event for generations. Cheyenne is Frontier Days.”

Edwards was handpicked for the two-year volunteer commitment after a riding exhibition, a personal interview and the submission of a scrapbook that showcased her high school accomplishments, family heritage and past Frontier Days involvement.

That scrapbook included memories from her time as a Frontier Days lady-in-waiting. All Miss Frontiers serve in the post, where they learn the ropes of being the rodeo queen. In fall 2005, she accepted her own crown — a beaded cowboy hat band that was handmade by a local American Indian woman — and began traveling nationally and internationally to promote Frontier Days at rodeos and related activities.

As any good queen would do, Edwards also has balanced a full academic load, participation in DU’s Pioneer Leadership Program and membership in Delta Gamma with weekend commutes to Cheyenne to attend Frontier Days fundraising events and meetings, visit nursing homes and make other public appearances.

“It’s such an incredible honor to be the goodwill ambassador for Frontier Days because the traditions and activities mean so much to so many people on so many different levels,” says Edwards, whose own childhood was infused with Frontier Days memories.

For four generations, the Edwards family has served in leadership capacities to make the 10-day rodeo possible. One of her aunts is the founder of the Frontier Days Old West Museum on the park grounds. Another aunt was Miss Frontier 1947, and her mother was Miss Frontier 1974. Edwards grew up ushering during the rodeo and working in the museum’s kids’ room.

“I’m the only girl in our immediate family and none of my other girl cousins are involved with horses, so it was important for me to carry on this part of our family’s tradition with Frontier Days,” Edwards says.

Comments are closed.