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A week at the fair: Wyoming State Fair launches Aug. 11-20

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Douglas – The 105th Wyoming State Fair launched on Aug. 11 with the Ft. Fetterman Remount Horse Sale, and the week ahead provides a hotbed of activity for Douglas and the Wyoming State Fairgrounds.

“We don’t have much ‘new’ going on around the fair this year, but we’re really focusing on highlighting some of our favorite activities,” says Derek Grant, Wyoming Department of Agriculture Public Information Officer. “As a part of a state-wide effort by Wyoming agencies, we are keeping the grounds open on Aug. 20-21 following the fair for visitors of the area to enjoy the grounds, take in a little entertainment and shop with our vendors who remain on the grounds.”

New year, new fair

Wyoming State Fair Director James Goodrich says, “Preparing for the 105th Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo has brought our mission and purpose into the spotlight.”

“We must focus on planning ahead in a manner that will not jeopardize our core of long-standing traditions as we take our events and programs into the future,” he continues.

Goodrich explains that the Wyoming State Fairgrounds provide opportunities which benefit the state and community, and numerous renovations across the grounds to facilities will provide the ability to meet demands for the future.

“Now, we must evaluate our activities and attractions to keep pace with the changing priorities of the people of Wyoming,” Goodrich says. “We look forward to reviewing the annual state fair and supporting organizations in the coming year to emerge with a renewed spirit and to offer quality, exciting opportunities to our core supporters and newcomers alike.”

Highlighting agriculture

With a focus on the future, Grant notes that the events that highlight the agriculture industry in Wyoming, including the Commercial Heifer Show and competitions surrounding honey.

“I personally like the Commercial Heifer Show because, while it isn’t a new event, they aren’t typical show cattle,” Grant says. “These cattle aren’t trained or groomed, and they are generally shown in the way that they would be sold at sale barns in the state.”

“The Commercial Heifer Show is a nice way to maintain our connection to the livestock industry that’s so important to our state,” he adds.

For the second time this year, Grant also says the Wyoming State Fair will continue several competitions surrounding honey, which came up after interest from the beekeeping community in the state of Wyoming.

Categories including cooking with honey and natural honey divisions.

As a new category, natural honey can be entered and will be displayed as light, amber or dark amber, honey combs, dry packaged combs or creamed or spun honey.

Going mobile

Among a few new additions to this year’s fair, the Wyoming State Fair has a new website and mobile app.

“Our goal with the website and mobile app is to help people get information easily and navigate their way around the Wyoming State Fair,” Grant explains.

The website, which has increase visual components, provides an easy-to-read schedule and online ticket sales, among other features.

“The app has a nice schedule, an interactive map, links to our social media accounts and more.”

The app is available for both Android and Apple devices by visiting the Google Play Store or App Store and searching “Wyoming State Fair.”

“We’ll hope both of these tools will make it easier for people to navigate the fair and enjoy their time on the grounds,” Grant comments.

Grandstand schedule

The 2017 Wyoming State Fair also has an amended grandstand schedule to provide entertainment for crowds.

“We still have the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Ram Rodeo on Aug. 12-13,” Grant says. “The Pig ‘N Mud Wrestling is set for Aug. 16, and the Kid’s Spectacular Family Fun night on Aug. 17.”

Then, Grant says, “we’ll host Old Dominion in concert on Aug. 18, and the Demolition Derby is set for Aug. 19.”

The week concludes with the State Finals Ranch Rodeo on Aug. 20.

“We put the ranch rodeo on Sunday, so visitors to the state who are taking in the eclipse can see what a ranch rodeo looks like,” he says. “Overall, our entertainment has shifted, but the schedule is still full of great events for the Wyoming State Fair.”

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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