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Visit Cheyenne For a Spell During the AARP National Spelling Bee

 Special Hotel Rate, City-wide Events and Attractions Available During Annual Celebration of Spellers Age 50-Plus
Spelling is for grownups too!  Visit Cheyenne for a SPELL as the city hosts the 14th annual AARP National Spelling Bee, June 20, at Little America Hotel and Resort from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Spellers, ages 50 or older, will compete against others from across the country and Canada as a means to keep their minds sharp. Visitors may watch the spelling contest and unofficially compete for free.  In celebration of the competition,

Cheyenne is offering city-wide events and attractions to all weekend visitors along with a special hotel rate.

A just-for-fun spelling bee will be held during the opening reception on Friday evening at Cheyenne’s Laramie County Library, named 2008 Best Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine.  Actors from the Cheyenne Melodrama will enact a dastardly spelling-theme skit during the reception.

“The spelling bee competition is always an exciting event with an impressive display of knowledge and skill.  The competition is fierce, but fun too,” said Cheyenne-based AARP Wyoming Director Tim Summers.  “It’s great to see so many people challenging their mental fitness.  And while they are here, they can also enjoy Cheyenne’s many attractions and events that coincide with the Bee.”
The competition was founded in 1996 by a group of Cheyenne AARP members who wanted to challenge the 50-plus Community to keep their minds sharp as they aged.  Since then, it has grown into a highly competitive and challenging event attracting adult spellers from all across the country and Canada.  The mission of the Bee is to foster life-long learning and mental activity, providing for individuals to meet their full potential through the organization of a national spelling bee.  It is open to anyone age 50 or older, except for previous winners.

In the AARP National Spelling Bee, the spellers are allowed to miss three words before being knocked out of the competition.  The day begins with a written competition in the morning, narrowing the field to the top 15 who go on to compete in the oral spelling rounds.  Contestants of the competition pay their own way to participate and are competing for more than $1,000 in gifts and prizes.

To enter, go to to access the entry form.  There is a $25.00 entry fee for participants and spellers must be at least 50 years old by June 19, 2009.  Study tips are also available online.  The event is open to the public, and anyone interested in watching and cheering on the spellers is welcome to attend.  Results and video coverage of previous competitions are available on this Web site.
What’s Happening in Cheyenne During the Bee—Friday, June 19 —Fully narrated historic trolley tour of the city arranged by AARP especially for spelling bee visitors .

Thirty-minute horse-drawn carriage rides through downtown with a narration on Cheyenne’s history (Friday-Sunday afternoons, free);

The “Wyoming Brewer’s Festival,” tasters party at Cheyenne Depot Plaza, offering selections of Wyoming-brewed beers, live music and a smorgasbord of food from Cheyenne-area restaurants; 5:00 p.m. to midnight, $40 per person, $70 per couple, includes food and beer.
Saturday, June 20— Spelling Bee competition (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., free to spectators); Cheyenne Gunslingers reenact a gunfight downtown (noon, free); Horse-drawn carriage rides, downtown (afternoon, free); “Wyoming Brewer’s Festival” continues with live music; 5:00 p.m. to midnight, $10.00 cover per person.
Wyoming’s Capitol city is located just 90 miles north of Denver at the intersection of I-25 and I-80 on the high plains.   For more on this magical place that captures the imagination of the American West, visit Cheyenne online at