From Dock Dogs to the Demolition Derby, and sheep shearing to art shows, the Wyoming State Fair puts the “culture” in “agriculture.”
“The State Fair is a celebration of all things agriculture,” said Interim Fair Manager Daniel Cheney. “It has showcased the heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of Wyoming’s ag industry since 1905, while bringing education and entertainment, as well.”
The Fair offers the largest youth competition in the state, providing exposure to and education about the agriculture industry for its next generation.
To get a real sense of the Fair’s history and impact in Wyoming, take a walk through the Pioneer Museum on the fairgrounds and chat with the old-timers; they’re sure to tell you their own blue-ribbon stories.
The Wyoming Business Council hosts the Made in Wyoming Mercantile on the midway at the Fair, a shop filled to the brim with Wyoming-made treasures. There are more than 50 vendors represented in the Mercantile this year, and all sorts of products, from jam to furniture to sculptures made from repurposed materials. It will also carry official Wyoming State Fair T-shirts and hats this year.
“The Mercantile offers a great opportunity to shop a wide variety of Wyoming-made products all in one place,” said Terri Barr, the organizer of the Mercantile from the Wyoming Business Council. “A lot of people come in to get a head start on their holiday shopping. Plus, we have air conditioning!”
The Business Council will also host the Farmers Market, held this year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 17, at the tent behind the wool barn. Several vendors will showcase their products there, such as produce, meats and baked goods.
Finally, fairgoers can help the Business Council team test out some new Placemaking ideas. The Placemaking approach empowers community members to design light, fast, cheap solutions – such as benches, outdoor games, lighting, public art, etc., – to breathe new life into unused public spaces.
Near the Mercantile, passersby can answer questions on a chalkboard and try their hand at a corn-hole game. In addition, two shaded benches with built-in cellphone-charging stations have been placed on the fairgrounds.
“These Placemaking ideas are meant to encourage people to stop and stay a minute, and perhaps take a look inside the Mercantile,” said Kim Porter, Community Initiatives Director for the Business Council. “They are ideas that communities might consider when doing their own Placemaking projects, and we’re trying them out for them here on the midway at the Fair.”
The Fair runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 17 in Douglas, Wyo. Visit the website for more information and the full schedule.