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Guest Opinions

Facility, Location, Schedule Changes Made for 2011 WSF

Written by James Goodrich

By James Goodrich, Wyoming State Fair Director

There are many changes on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds for the 2011 Fair! Those attending again this year may not recognize the front of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Building. This time-honored location at the “crossroads” of the fairgrounds has received major renovations inside and out. Visitors will be greeted by a new “patio” setting in front of the building with flowers, split rail fence, tables and chairs with umbrellas overhead and a new surface of  “driveable grass” underneath. The new sidewalk leading up to the entrance of the building has an inlaid outline of the traditional Wyoming bucking horse and rider. All of these things combined create a very inviting new entrance to a traditional cornerstone of the Wyoming State Fair.

Another new addition in the same area is the new Wyoming Mercantile store. This new building constructed by the Wyoming Business Council is the permanent home of the Wyoming First products (all Wyoming-made) program that has been a part of Wyoming State Fair for many years. The new Wyoming Mercantile is located on the midway right next to the Wool Barn. It is designed and built to be just like an old time western general store, and it looks the part!
Right across the midway to the north, repeat visitors will notice a change in the Food Court. The basic configuration is the same, but we have moved it farther east on the midway to allow booth space on the corner and across from the Rotary Club food concession. This move will help the food vendors with their storage areas, as well as improve the appearance in that entire area.

We have added a complete set of new playground equipment on the lawn in front of the Dairy Barn, near the entrance to the new “Pathway to Water Quality,” which was introduced last year.

The first two phases of the project are complete for the 2011 Fair. Phase I, the entrance, is a large part of the renovation of the Agriculture and Natural Resources building. Phase II is the addition of the “EcoGrid” soil stabilization material under the cattle tie-outs along the North Platte River. Phase III will be completed in 2012, and will be the walking pathway along the North Platte River with interpretive areas and demonstration plots terminating in a wetland area near the Equine Center and campground. This joint venture by agriculture, conservation and industry groups will be a lasting improvement to the fairgrounds, utilized by all citizens for many years to come.

Improvements to the campground and grandstand restrooms round out the projects completed prior to the 2011 Wyoming State Fair to make everyone’s visit more enjoyable.

New events for the 2011 Wyoming State Fair include a Monster Truck Night on Aug. 15 and a ranch sorting event Aug. 18. A major schedule change for this year is the ranch horse competition, which has moved to Aug. 19.

Following what is sure to be an exciting and fun-filled 2011 Wyoming State Fair, we will begin to unveil plans for the 100th Wyoming State Fair coming Aug.11-18, 2012. Planning has been underway for nearly a year, and efforts are taking shape and specific projects are coming into focus. Look for news releases and announcements as we work our way toward this historic event… plan to be part of the action!

Once again, come visit us in Douglas at the 99th Wyoming State Fair, Aug. 13-20!!!