Celebrating the Old West is the name of the game when it comes to fairs and festivals in Wyoming. Attend an event in The Cowboy State and you’re sure to see some wild roping at a rodeo and maybe even a mountain man show!
Wyoming State Fair
Wyoming puts on a fair like no other state could — rodeo-style! Almost every day of the week-long fair there’s a rodeo event with plenty of riding and roping. Aside from the rodeos, the Wyoming State Fair features free stage shows and strolling performers, including local bands, clowns and even a hypnotist. And don’t forget the fabulous fair food and carnival rides!
Location: 400 W. Center St., Douglas, WY 82633
Rates: $10 for a season commemorative pin that provides daily grounds admission; $55 for a Carnival Mega Ride Pass
Gold Rush Days
One weekend every summer, the Old West mining town, South Pass City, pays homage to its bygone past with its Gold Rush Days celebration. As part of the festival, you can take in printing press demonstrations, anvil blasting exhibitions, live saloon music and even a vintage baseball tournament — complete with players wearing turn-of-the-century uniforms. For fun, take your family gold-panning, or for a tour of the Clarissa Mine.
Location: South Pass City, WY
Rates: $3 for adults and children; children under age 6 are free
Flaming Gorge Days
Otherwise known as “Southwest Wyoming’s Weekend of Fun,” the Flaming Gorge Days has something for everyone, from the 10-mile kayak rodeo and the bull brawl, to headliner concerts and sports tournaments in basketball, volleyball, horseshoes and dodgeball. For kids, there’s plenty of free fun to be had at Flaming Gorge Days’ Festival in the Park, including train rides, a giant slide, magic shows, a moon bounce, children’s entertainers, an inflatable obstacle course and prize-giving carnival games.
Location: Green River, WY
Rates: Entry fees and concert tickets vary by event. Children’s entertainment is free.
Cheyenne Frontier Days
For over 100-years, Cheyenne Frontier Days has become the largest Western celebration in the world. The centerpiece of the 10-day festival is the famous rodeo known fondly as “The Daddy of ’em All,” which has ticketed world-class events daily. Or, you can come in the mornings to see free events like steer wrestling and roping, barrel racing and team roping. More than a rodeo, Frontier Days has a midway with carnival rides, food and games that families will love. For a taste of the Old West, take a tour through the festival’s Wild Horse Gulch, where you can see western buildings and meet famous characters from the era — for free!
Location: 4610 Carey Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82001
Rates: Varies by seat location for rodeo events; $25 daily arm-bands for the carnival midway, $40 for a four-day carnival armband, or $70 for a seasonal carnival pass
Old West Days
The name says it all — Jackson Hole’s Old West Days is a celebration of Wyoming’s history as part of America’s “Wild West.” This festival has everything you could imagine when you think of the Old West, from rodeo events and stagecoach rides, to a daily shootout re-enactment which has been held in the city since 1957. There are even wine and beer tasting events for the parents, plus a parade, a mechanical bull, Mountain Men competitions, an arts and crafts show, a candy cannon and plenty of Old West entertainment that will be fun for the whole family.
Location: Jackson Hole, WY
Rates: Vary by event, however many activities are free
Wyoming’s Big Show
Part county fair, part rodeo, part concert series – Wyoming’s Big Show definitely lives up to its promise of “Big, Wild, Fun!” Big Show showcases the best of the state, from professional cowboys in action, to local agricultural displays, to the talent of Wyoming’s youth through 4-H and livestock exhibits. Plus, there is always the family-friendly food, rides and games, nightly fireworks and concerts that are free with admission to the festival.
Location: 3320 Yellowstone Road, Rock Springs, WY 82901
Rates: $10 for adults; $6 for children ages 6-12; children under 6 are free. Daily unlimited ride passes are available for $30 on-site or $20 in advance.
Fort Bridger Rendezvous
Looking for festivals in Wyoming? Well, quite often you’ll find that they’re referred to as “Rendezvous” – and the Fort Bridger Rendezvous is one of the best in the state. Held annually in September, this Mountain Man festival is dedicated to celebrating the fur trade era that existed in the Rocky Mountains from 1825-1840. All events date back to the era — Native American Dancers, archery, shooting and knife-throwing competitions, Dutch oven cooking contests, period clothing contest and more. Guests are encouraged, but not required, to come in authentic dress (to get free admission!) — just make sure all visible clothing predates the 1840s!
Location: Fort Bridger State Museum?, 37001 Business I-80, Fort Bridger, WY 82933
Rates: $3 per person for ages 12 and up; children ages 11 and under are free