The Wyoming State Fair announced fair events and 4-H activities will take place as planned on August 11-15 in Douglas, with a newly re-branding platform and extensive health and safety plans in place.
“We are excited to be able to set the standard for the best and most safe large event practices in the state,” Wyoming State Fair manager Courtny Conkle said.
The state fair will look as similar as possible to fairs in the past, as they have placed importance on keeping fair traditions alive, Conkle said, all regular 4-H events and livestock showing will take place along with a lineup of family education and entertainment options.
According to June 12 press release, live music will include Reckless Kelly and Jeremy McComb. Grandstand entertainment will include the Ranch Rodeo with Mutton Bustin’, Pig n’ Mud Wrestling, Octane Addictions Freestyle Motocross Show, the PRCA Rodeo and the Demolition derby.
In terms of spectator limits, state fair staff is continuing to work with health officials to determine exact numbers in the grandstands during entertainment events, but Conkle said, the 4-H livestock shows will remain open to everyone due to the outdoor location of the shows.
While placing importance on social distancing and health measures, the 8,000 square foot livestock barns and holding areas provide enough square footage to naturally spread out animals among the barn areas without restrictions, Conkle said.
But motivations behind the fair board and Conkle herself to keep this event up and running and as similar to tradition as possible, is due to the long line of heritage as the state fair will celebrate their 108th consecutive year of operation.
This year has provided a unique opportunity for the fair to be what Conkle described as the premier summer event in the state of Wyoming.
“It is really exciting to see an event with so much heritage, continuing to take place, Conkle said, “It puts it all into perspective, that there are good things still coming.”
Not only will the state fair be one of the few large summer events not canceled in the state, but will also be the first year the fair has went through a re-branding process in its 108 years of operation.
Conkle said, the re-branding process began in 2019 but has presented the fair with opportunities to create a newly branded experience in a year of event changes, while also keeping and continuing the same traditions.
“There is a potential to see an increase in attendance this year,” Conkle said, “We have had an increase in vendor applications for this year.”
In terms of financial expectations, Conkle said, she is planning for a revenue reduction from years in the past, in order to be prepared, but she is expecting successful numbers.
Conkle said, the hard work of her team is what allows this years state fair to take place as planned, due to extensive health safety planning.
“People need to know that Gov. Gordon did not cancel any events . . . it just takes a little bit of elbow grease and work of how to do it safely,” Conkle said.