Sheepherder’s Fair in Powder River June 23-24
Powder River, Wyo.
Powder River, Wyo., is 36 miles west of Casper, a quiet little community that every year, on the fourth weekend in June, hosts the annual Powder River Sheepherder’s Fair.
The Sheepherder’s Fair was started 24 years ago with the intent to promote the sheep and wool industry in Natrona, Colo. It was such a success that it has continued and grown ever since.
The fair has many different things to offer. The weekend is packed full of rodeo events centered around sheep, sheepdog trials, kids’ games, family BBQ, dance, greased pig catching, a lamb cook-off, craft show, fun and Calcutta wagering. The list of events show the skills and techniques that the sheepherders of the west have used on a daily basis for many years. The exciting thing about all of these events is you don’t have to be a sheepherder to compete.
The sheepdog trials draw a lot of entries from all over the Western United States. It is also a favorite of the crowd. The majority of the dogs that compete are border collie or border collie crosses. A lot of the handlers/owners use these same dogs that participate at the fair, on a daily basis in their own sheep and cattle operations. The working dogs are very talented and show their skills in two different events. There is a standard timed dog trial and a dodge gate competition. After the two days of competing the top 10 dogs are brought back to compete for overall champion on Sunday afternoon. The Powder River Sheepherder’s Fair also offers an event for the novice dog (nine months and younger). This is a good event for the young stock dogs to get a little experience before they move on to the open trials.
The fun starts Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and continues into the afternoon with the dogs, rodeo events and kids games. In the evening after all the day’s events are over there is a family BBQ and a dance with a live band. There is a $5 gate fee per person/per day. The BBQ and dance are included in the gate fee. Kids 12 and under are free.
On Sunday, June 24, the Annual Greater Wyoming American Lamb Cook-off is getting underway. All entries/dishes must contain lamb or mutton. There is no limit to what you can make ” stews, chili, leg of lamb, shepherd pie ” you name it, you can enter it. The winner is selected by a panel of judges that sample each dish and pick their favorite.
In between events everyone can visit the arts and crafts booths. The craft show offers some of Wyomings best offerings. While you are browsing the crafts you can stop and grab a bite to eat from the kitchen or grab a cold pop or an adult beverage.
The Powder River Sheepherder’s Fair is still carrying on tradition. They still promote the sheep and wool industry. Many people do not realize the role the sheep industry has played in the west. Wyoming has led all states in wool production and rates wool as the states leading industry in Years 1908-1910. The Powder River Sheepherders Fair supports the belief that the sheep industry has been and remains to be a very vital part of the Wyoming economy and a way of life.
For more information, please visit http://www.PowderRiverSheepherdersFair.com; call Glenda Van Patten at (307) 472-7055 or write to Powder River Sheepherder’s Fair, P.O. Box 38, Powder River, Wyo., 82648.
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