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Guest Opinions

Wyoming State Fair: 99 years and beyond

Written by Jason Fearneyhough

By Jason Fearneyhough, Director, Wyoming Department of Agriculture

Each year around this time, I start to get excited. Not only is that due to the fact that the weather is warm and the growing season is in full swing, but because I know the Wyoming State Fair is just around the corner.

While growing up, I always looked forward to the fair. The opportunity to compete with other kids from around the state with something I had worked on all year, make new friends and learn about agriculture from producers was something I cherished. My time spent in the dorms, showing livestock, hanging out with friends next to the North Platte River and watching the free entertainment are a few of my fair experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.

With that said, I still get excited about fair time for many of the same reasons. This year is the 99th annual Wyoming State Fair. The level of competition and the opportunity to see friends from around the state and learn about agriculture continues to grow and is unlike any event in the state. Along with the competition and educational opportunities, there is a world of entertainment, food, commercial exhibitors, carnival rides and much more to experience at the fair. If you’re looking for a family friendly, inexpensive and fulfilling event, this is the place to be.  

I invite you all to come see the enhancements made to the grounds and take in the ranch rodeo, the carnival, the 20th annual Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum Invitational Art Show, free entertainment and more from Aug. 13-20 at the Wyoming State Fair.

There is also great entertainment in the grandstands, where you can come see metal twisted during the demolition derby on Aug. 13 and the monster truck show on Aug. 15, a great concert with Darryl Worley on Aug. 17 and three different nights of high caliber professional competition with PRCA rodeo action Aug. 18-20. All of these grandstand events are available for nearly the cost of a movie ticket.

This year is also unique in the fact that it is the last fair before we reach the 100th annual Wyoming State Fair. The momentum for the 100th anniversary is already building through the planning committee and numerous subcommittees, and will undoubtedly be the biggest and best fair we’ve ever put on. Details for the 100th are taking shape, and I can guarantee this landmark event will bring more entertainment to the citizens of Wyoming while maintaining the traditions and core values that we have built for the last 100 years.

We are, and will continue to be, an educational fair focused on the youth of the state and Wyoming heritage, because, like the state of Wyoming, times change but traditions remain. If learning about the traditions of Wyoming and seeing the way a fair was meant to be interests you, the Wyoming State Fair is the place for you. Keep an eye on the Wyoming State Fair and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture websites and Facebook pages for developments as we move forward.