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Higher Ground Fair Celebrates Life In The Rockies

Feeding Laramie Valley

For the second year in a row, the Higher Ground Fair is set to celebrate the Rocky Mountain region’s unique lifestyle. Organizer Gayle Woodsum said this year’s events will be even bigger than last year’s with music and dance on three stages both days of the fair, including the Patti Fiasco, Whiskey Slaps, The Hazel Miller Band, and J Shogren Shanghai’d.

There will also be more than 70 vendors and presentations, including one by the Black American West Museum about African American history in the West.

Woodsum said the purpose of the fair is to bridge divides by getting people sharing ideas.

“To be sensitive to thinking about how do we expand our own voice, how do we expand our language so that we can sit down and talk to the old rancher who’s been doing it the old way for a very long time about some of the new concerns you have and where you can learn from each other.”

The fair is indoor-outdoor at the Albany County Fairground this coming weekend, with gardening demonstrations, fiber art workshops, and Native American dancing and food. Draft horses will demonstrate plowing and logging, and children can participate in a costume parade.

Woodsum said the fair is designed to bring people together from all walks of the American West.

“If you just want to come and listen to music, you can do that. If you want to pet the horses and see a llama, you can do that,” Woodsum said. “But if you want to get really deep and think about things that are going on in your life, like maybe you want to become a farmer. Or you want to have backyard chickens, there will be someone there to talk to you about that.”

The Higher Ground Fair is taking place September 23 and 24. It’s free to kids under 12. Adults are $10 and seniors are $8. All proceeds go to support the organization, Feeding Laramie Valley.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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