80 years: Laramie Jubilee Days celebrates Wyoming heritage
Every year, Laramie celebrates Jubilee Days with a weeklong celebration of Wyoming’s history. This year, Wyoming’s hometown celebration celebrates 80 years of the western lifestyle.
The long history of Jubilee Days all started to celebrate the Cowboy State’s heritage.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is that Laramie Jubilee Days (LJD) is the only celebrated statehood event in the state of Wyoming,” shared acting LJD Rodeo Chairman Myron Hales.
Eighty years ago, Laramie cowboys were searching for a way to honor the birthday of Wyoming. The cowboys brought together their passion for the state and horses, celebrating Wyoming’s statehood the cowboy way.
Hales noted, “Jubilee Days got its start by celebrating statehood, so we just continued on from there.”
Cherishing Wyoming’s foundation, local horse enthusiasts gathered in true Wyoming fashion on July 10, 1940 for a horse race. This was just the start of a long-standing tradition.
“LJD got started by horse races,” Hales explained. “Then, eventually the event moved from the horse race to the rodeo events. It has run the full gamut.”
It is only appropriate the Cowboy State honors its history with the four-legged animals.
Growth of LJD
Over the years, the event has grown. With the rapid growth came many changes to the celebration.
“Forty-five years ago, LJD moved to the fairgrounds where we currently are today and we have been building on it ever since,” Hales shares.
This big move has allowed for more activities to take place during the Jubilee Days celebration.
“It started out as a low-gear, local rodeo and has turned into the professional rodeo we have today. Now, we have added bull riding and junior bull riding to the rodeo events, as well as a team roping, ranch rodeo and a kid’s horse show.” Hales said. “We just try and build on it every year and make improvements.”
The growth mindset behind the event has been evident. Over the years, Jubilee Days continues to add new horse events for regional cowboys.
In addition, downtown Laramie fills with guests coming to town for a busy week. With the addition of cooking contests, a parade, vendors and more, Wyoming’s birthday celebration continues to get better.
The 2021 Laramie Jubilee Days kicked off July 3. After many challenges last year, the committee has planned a thrilling event to celebrate 80 years of the hometown celebration.
“We are building on what we have and blowing things up this year to celebrate the 80th year of LJD,” Hales said, looking forward to this year’s event.
Sticking to the event’s heritage, the schedule is full of horse shows and rodeos. During the 2021 Jubilee Days, kids’ horse shows, ranch rodeos, team roping contests and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo performances are underway in Laramie. The cowboy heritage of the state is also celebrated with bull riding for athletes of all ages.
While the Albany County Fairgrounds is busy with cowboys and cowgirls, downtown Laramie continues the celebration.
July 8-10, the Laramie city limits are packed with something for everyone. The wide variety of activities honors the hometown heritage.
Excited about the new opportunities downtown, Hales shared, “For downtown events, we have the street dance and chili cooking – which is a national deal. There is also a jalapeño eating contest, a parade and all kinds of different events for everyone downtown.”
All in all, the 2021 Laramie Jubilee Days brings together the old Wyoming lifestyle with the new hometown activities.
Hales concluded, “We are blessed to be able to rodeo again and provide the community with entertainment.”
Savannah Peterson is an intern for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.