Wyoming State Fair continues planning, addresses challenges for the 100th year celebrationWritten by Saige Albert
With a bigger event, more people, more entertainment and great excitement about the 100th year of the Wyoming State Fair, there are also a number of new challenges presenting themselves.
“The biggest challenge we face is truly to go to this greater level of magnitude and not have any more infrastructure,” says Goodrich. “This is a huge step.”
He adds that, in particular, parking and lodging will be difficult.
“Our lodging situation in Douglas is very tight,” he notes, “and it has gotten tighter with people anticipating the 100th.”
The WSF is planning to approach Casper lodging properties about sending overflow requests to Casper, due to the large demand for rooms the fairgrounds has received.
Additionally, in anticipation of a large number of guests who will travel from Casper, Goodrich adds that the State Fair will looking at opportunities for mass transit.
“We have talked about charter transportation or mass transportation on a regular basis from the Casper area to Douglas, particularly on entertainment nights or rodeo days,” says Goodrich. “We are going to manage parking better, as well.”
Fundraising for the big event has gone well, according to Goodrich, who notes commemorative items and building naming as of top interest in fundraising endeavors.
“The buckles are nearly two-thirds gone,” he says. “Pins and bracelets are still available, as well. I think we will see another big push as we get closer to fair time, as well.”
As for the first 10 numbered sets, Goodrich says only one through five are left, with five planning on going for auction during the UW Alumni Association event, and the first two sets being sold at auction during fair week.
Another big fundraising endeavor that WSF has undertaken is the opportunity to feature a company name on various buildings across the grounds.
“We started with seven structures or areas for naming, and we have two left,” Goodrich comments. “The equine center and the silver arena are the only ones left.”
As part of the purchase of structures, companies enter into a three-year contract with exclusive signage and the opportunity to be named in all schedules and advertisements. The cost of the contracts varies, based on the structure or arena.
Featured county displays
“One of the early goals of the planning committee was county displays,” Goodrich comments. “We are in the process of visiting every county fair board meeting this spring to ask for and encourage their participation.”
Goodrich notes, however, that the responsibility doesn’t solely lie in the hands of county fair boards – chambers of commerce or county tourism boards may also be involved.
“We are encouraging a group effort from the counties,” he says, “and while we want the focus to be on agriculture, it doesn’t have to be. The displays can focus on tourism, industry, mining or whatever a county chooses to showcase.”
County displays will be showcased in a large tent on the grounds.
Other additional aspects of the 2012 WSF will include a youth alpaca show and increased area for commercial exhibits.
With the event growing continually closer, Goodrich says, “We’re spending a lot of time on planning now.”
State Fair 2012 schedule
“The lineup is all pretty much the same,” says Wyoming State Fair Director James Goodrich of the upcoming 2012 Wyoming State Fair, with youth and open shows maintaining a consistent schedule compared to past years. “We have to put on a fair again in 2013.”
This year’s fair will feature lots of entertainment, including four concerts, a ranch rodeo and three nights of PRCA Rodeo. Check out a brief schedule of big evening events below:
Sunday, Aug. 12 – Ranch Rodeo and Western Underground in concert
Tuesday, Aug. 14 – The Guess Who in concert
Wednesday, Aug. 15 – Dierks Bentley in concert
Thursday, Aug. 16 – PRCA Rodeo
Friday, Aug. 16– PRCA Rodeo and Miss Rodeo Wyoming Coronation
Saturday, Aug. 17 – Western Underground in concert