A wide variety of people, from American Indians to Chinese miners, have called Wyoming home. Many communities throughout the state host festivals to share the history of those who settled there and how they lived. Check out these cultural events for a fun and educational family outing.
Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo
- What: Woodchoppers compete for the title of Rocky Mountain Lumberjack in events such as ax throwing, pole throwing, ax chopping, chainsaw events and one- or two-man handsawing, among others. Watch cowboys and cowgirls test their skills in the WRA sanctioned rodeo. Both events have children’s contests, such as a greased pole climb and boot race. You can also see a parade, enjoy a daily barbecue lunch (for a fee) and catch a melodrama at the Grand Encampment Opera House.
- When: June 14-15
- Where: The rodeos and woodchopping events are at the Encampment-Riverside Lions Club Arena, 17 McCaffrey Ave. in Encampment. The Grand Encampment Opera Company performs at the Opera House, 622 Rankin St. in Encampment, which is about 63 miles southeast of Rawlins.
- Tickets: $7 adults, free for kids ages 12 and under
- Info: 970-210-2955, (rodeo) 307-327-5374, saratogaplatte.chambermaster.com
Alpine Mountain Days
- What: Enjoy shopping for crafts and fine art, eating good food and listening to live music. There are also children’s activities, American Indian dancers, a chili cook-off, a triathlon, a horseshoe tournament and more. Don’t forget to take a stroll through the Pioneer Village, where craftsmen in period clothing demonstrate 1800s skills.
- When: June 20-22
- Where: Marge Grover Memorial Park/Donn Wooden Civic Center 111 U.S. Highway 29 in Alpine, 36 miles southwest of Jackson.
- Tickets: FREE
- Info: 307-654-7757, alpinemountaindays.org
Plains Indian Museum Powwow
- What: Dancers, drum groups and artists from Northern Plains tribes gather to celebrate their vibrant cultural traditions and compete in dance. Dance categories include traditional, jingle dress, fancy, grass, team dancing, tiny tots and chicken dance. Visitors can learn about powwow, shop for authentic American Indian jewelry, clothing, art and more and taste fry bread and Indian tacos. Bring chairs or a blanket to sit on.
- When: June 21-22
- Where: Robbie Powwow Garden at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 720 Sheridan Ave. in Cody
- Tickets: $10 adults, $5 ages 7-17, free for kids ages 6 and under
- Info: 307-578-4102, centerofthewest.org
Green River Rendezvous
- What: Relive the early 1800s, when mountain men, explorers and American Indians met to barter, sell or swipe skins, pelts, guns, trinkets and provisions for the coming winter. See demonstrations on the tools and trades of the day and learn the history of the fur trade. There are also kids' activities, rodeos, a kids' fishing derby, Native American dancing, fireworks, a parade and live music.
- When: July 10-13. The pageant is at 1 p.m. July 13.
- Where: In downtown Pinedale, about 77 miles southwest of Jackson. The rodeos and pageant are at the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds, which are south of town off U.S. Highway 191. Additional activities are at the Museum of the Mountain Man, which is located at 700 E. Hennick St.
- Tickets: FREE. Fees may apply for certain activities, such as the rodeo and museum admission.
- Info: 888-285-7282, www.meetmeonthegreen.com
Gold Rush Days
- What: Enjoy a taste of life at the turn of the century at South Pass City State Historic Site. Gold Rush Days features a vintage baseball tournament, music in the historic saloons, kids’ games and one-of-a-kind events such as anvil blasting, mining demonstrations and, of course, gold panning.
- When: July 12-13
- Where: South Pass City State Historic Site, 125 South Pass Ave. in South Pass, about 36 miles southwest of Lander
- Tickets: $3 for ages 6 and up, free for kids ages 5 and under
- Info: 307-332-3684, www.southpasscity.com
Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering
- What: Enjoy an authentic Western weekend complete with museum tours, cowboy poetry and live music. There is also a stick horse rodeo, campfire jam session, chuck wagon breakfast and more. Don't miss the All-Star Cowboy Poetry and Music show at 7 p.m. July 19.
- When: July 18-20
- Where: Throughout Encampment: Grandview Park and the adjacent Grand Encampment Museum, at Barnett and Eighth streets. The All-Star Cowboy Poetry and Music show takes place at the Grand Encampment Opera House, 622 Rankin St.
- Tickets: The All-Star Cowboy Poetry and Music show costs $15 for adults and is FREE for ages 12 and under. Other activities are FREE, but you’ll need a chair or blanket to sit on in the park.
- Info: 307-327-5465, 307-326-8855, www.grandencampmentgathering.org
- What: With model train layouts, train vendors, rail art, quilt show, turntable rides and food vendors, this festival is fun for the whole family. If that's not enough, the Uinta County Fair, a car show and downtown sidewalk sale also take place in Evanston that weekend.
- When: Aug. 1-3
- Where: Historic Roundhouse and Railyards, 1440 Main Street
- Tickets: FREE
- Info: Contact Roundhouse Restoration at 307-783-6320 or 801-779-2763.
Heart Mountain Pilgrimage
- What: Japanese-Americans were incarcerated at Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming during WWII. This annual event features guest speakers, a film viewing and meals. The theme is “Honoring Selfless Service” with a focus on honoring soldiers who were held there.
- When: Aug. 22-23
- Where: Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, in Powell.
- Tickets: TBA
- Info: 307-754-8000, heartmountain.org
High Plains Powwow
- What: Watch people compete in the Native American dance and drum contests. The dance competition includes traditional, jingle dress, fancy, grass, prairie chicken and kids' categories. Don't miss the grand entry at 1 p.m. No drugs, alcohol or pets are allowed at this event, but there will be food vendors.
- When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 30.
- Where: Carbon County Fairgrounds, 523 Rodeo St. in Rawlins.
- Info: 307-328-2740, www.carboncountymuseum.org