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Wyoming State Fair hopes to keep tradition while adding new attractions

J. Stephen Conn
Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0

The Wyoming State Fair (WSF) in Douglas is a state institution that dates back to the early 20th century. Over the years, it’s added new attractions and events as more fairgoers have taken in one of the premier agricultural and entertainment expositions in the state.

And while there are some new elements this year, the combination with traditional elements is what draws many attendees.

The fair kicked off on Aug. 16 and will run through Saturday, Aug. 20. Some of the new additions include new entertainment acts as well as food vendors.

“There’s so much new fun stuff that we’re excited to bring the state of Wyoming this year, including the Pirate’s Parrot Bird Show, which has live parrots, the Nerveless Knocks stunt show with motorcycle stunts, where they actually take a motorcycle and they go all the way around the globe, and then we also have strolling entertainers like Skip Banks, the Balloon Man,” said Courtny Conkle, General Manager of the WSF. “His show is one of a kind, so there’s a lot of stuff you have to see.”

The Miss Rodeo Wyoming competition is set to crown their 2023 winner on Thursday evening. Country singer Morgan Evans will perform on Friday evening, with a demolition derby taking place on Saturday evening to cap off this year’s events.

Traditional fair events, such as youth livestock showing, continue to play an integral role in the fair.

“The youth are the heart and soul of the state fair and so we have livestock shows every day celebrating our 4-H and FFA members and all the hard work they’ve put in all year to be able to come to the premier summer event and end their summer on a really high note by hopefully taking home a buckle from the state fair,” Conkle said.

Hugh Cook is Wyoming Public Radio's Northeast Reporter, based in Gillette. A fourth-generation Northeast Wyoming native, Hugh joined Wyoming Public Media in October 2021 after studying and working abroad and in Washington, D.C. for the late Senator Mike Enzi.
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