June 19, 2023
More than 60% of American adults say they are planning to travel for this year’s 4th of July weekend, according to a recent survey by The Vacationer. There’s no place like Wind River Country when it comes to celebrating the 4th of July. Independence Day is arguably the locals’ favorite holiday. For decades, the communities in Wind River Country have celebrated the 4th of July with high spirits and big annual events, from rodeos to parades to fireworks and everything in between. These events have turned into traditions for both locals and visitors, and this year’s events are lining up to be better than ever. Here is what’s happening in Wind River Country over the 4th of July weekend.
Wednesday, June 28 to Sunday, July 2
Starting off in Riverton, the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous is the perfect way to kick off the holiday weekend. This event is the only reenactment on the original rendezvous site. Walk in the same footsteps of traders from the past. Learn fire starting with flint and steel, dutch-oven cooking, black powder shoots, flint knapping, teepee set-up, trap setting and more. The Rendezvous begins June 28 at 10 a.m. and ends July 2 at 8 p.m. at the end of E. Monroe Avenue. For more information, visit www.1838rendezvous.com.
Friday, June 30
Cowboy up and head to the Dubois Friday Night Rodeo, which takes place every Friday night in beautiful Dubois at the Clarence Allison Memorial Arena east of town. This real west, family friendly rodeo offers fun for the whole family with food and beverages available right on the rodeo grounds, located at 5639 US-26. The rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids (six to 12), five and under free (available at the gate). Call (307) 710-7080 for more information.
Saturday, July 1
Join the Lander Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD) for their LVFD Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser. Come and meet the members of the LVFD, learn how to become a member and see their fire trucks and equipment on display. The event takes place from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Lander Fire Hall at 4th Street and Garfield Street. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids under 12.
- Head to the corner of South 2nd Street and Main Street for the Lander Local Food Market. Featuring homemade and homegrown products, this market takes place every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- In the Riverton City Hall parking lot (816 N. Federal Blvd.), you’ll find the Riverton Saturday Farmers Market. This market is all about local businesses and families bringing the goodness of local products to the community. Stop by anytime from 9 to 11 a.m.
- The Lander Valley Farmers Market is another great place to shop locally, offering meat, produce and crafts locally produced in Fremont County from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The market is located on 3rd Street in downtown Lander between Lincoln and Main.
Swing by the Lander Art Center: Jam Time for some live music and good company. Jam Time takes place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m at 258 Main Street. All instruments, ages and skill sets are welcome. Call (307) 349-0204 for more information.
Jeffrey City’s J.C.V.F.D. Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks is bound to be a good time. Join the Jeffrey City Volunteer Fire Department (J.C.V.F.D.), located at #6 A Street, for an open house with burgers and brats from 3 p.m. to midnight. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please bring a side and/or a dessert and bring your own refreshments. Food will be served starting at 5 p.m., and fireworks begin after dark. There will also be an art gallery grand opening nearby.
There’s fun for the whole family at the Cruisin’ to the Inn Car Show at The Inn at Lander, 260 Grandview Drive. There will be food by Mamaw’s Kitchen as well as a full bar and drink specials from The Summit Lounge. Special hotel rates are also available. The car show is from 4 to 8 p.m., with live music by Red Dangit from 6 to 9 p.m.
Head to the Lander Bar (126 Main Street) for some live music by the Poudre Valley Playboys from 8 to 11 p.m. There’s no doubt that this hillbilly-surf duo will get the crowd moving.
Sunday, July 2
For more live music, check out The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, presented by Sugarbeats Entertainment. The concert takes place at the Fremont County Fairgrounds, 1010 Fairground Road, in Riverton. Doors open at 5 p.m., show starts at 6 p.m. There will also be food and beverages for sale. Tickets are $15 per person and are available at the gate.
The Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel is proud to announce their summer patio party line up featuring live music by the Corey McDaniel Band. The band will be playing on the patio of the Shoshone Rose starting at 7 p.m. This show is free and open to the public. The Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel is located at 5690 US-287 just outside of Lander.
Catch the second night of live music by the Poudre Valley Playboys at the Lander Bar (126 Main Street) from 8 to 11 p.m. Grab your dancing shoes and a refreshing beverage and enjoy the show.
Monday, July 3
If you’re looking for a full day of fun, Pavilion is the place to be. The community of Pavilion is hosting An Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration on Monday, July 3. Head to Pavillion for a day of celebration, starting with the horseshoe tournament at noon, the 4th of July parade at 3 p.m. (line up is from 2 to 2:30 p.m.), followed by a car show. There will also be a Pavillion Volunteer Firefighters dinner and silent auction at 5 p.m. at the Rec Center. Wrap up a fun-filled day with the fireworks show at dark. For more information, call Christina at (307) 709-6490.
Join the weekly Fremont Area Road Tour Group Ride with local legend, Chuck Schuster, the first President of the Lander Cycling Club. He and his wife, Karla Wagner will show you a great ride in Lander with the locals who know it best. Meet at Gannett Peak Sports (371 Main Street) Monday at 5:45 p.m. Group cycling ride starts at 6 p.m.
Cowboy up and enjoy the 129th Fremont Toyota Pioneer Days Rodeo at 1663 Rodeo Drive in Lander. This rodeo is also known as “The World’s Oldest Paid Rodeo.” The rodeo starts at 6:30 p.m. and features traditional western rodeo events including Indian relay races, bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback riding, as well as barrel racing and roping. Presale tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for kids (six to 12). Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults and $10 for kids (six to 12). For more information, go to http://lotra.org.
For more live music, The Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel is featuring The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash as part of their summer patio party. The band will be playing on the patio of the Shoshone Rose starting at 7 p.m. This show is free and open to the public. The Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel is located at 5690 US-287 just outside of Lander.
The Lander Bar (126 Main Street) hosts another great band on July 3. Check out live music by the Lost Strings Band from 8 to 11 p.m. The patio is a lovely place to grab a drink or dinner and enjoy the evening.
Tuesday, July 4
The Challenge for Charities Lander Half Marathon is a must-do road running event that ascends the continuous but gradual climb up Baldwin Creek and then descends Squaw Creek. The Half Marathon starts at 6 a.m. Runners experience breathtaking views of green fields, winding creeks, dramatic red bluffs and inspiring glimpses of the Lander foothills. The 5K waves start at 6:30 a.m., and the course leads runners through town to McManus Park and then joins up with the Half Marathon course to finish. The 1M waves start at 9:05 a.m. and take place on Main Street with some of the best cheering you can imagine. Registration closes July 1. For more details, visit https://challengeforcharitieslander.itsyourrace.com/.
Fuel up for the day at the Lander Senior Center’s 4th of July Annual Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. The Senior Center, located at 205 S. 10th Street, will be serving pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee. Cost is $5 per person.
The Pioneer Days Parade is one of Lander’s most popular events of the year. The parade, which takes place on Main Street at 10 a.m., hosts a wide variety of floats and vehicles. Thousands of locals and visitors gather to watch every year. At the end of the parade, fire trucks turn their hoses to the sky, and water rains down on nearby spectators, a nice way to cool down in the summer heat.
After the parade, jaunt over to Lander City Park for the 4th of July Rotary Buffalo BBQ. You’ll find delicious bison burgers, beef brats, ice cream and a beer tent from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be live music by the Low Water String Band. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.
End the perfect weekend with the second night of the 129th Fremont Toyota Pioneer Days Rodeo, starting 6:30 p.m. at 1663 Rodeo Drive The bucking bulls and speedy barrel racing offers entertainment for the entire family, with the grand finale of fireworks starting at 10 p.m. Presale tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for kids (six to 12). Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults and $10 for kids (six to 12). For more information, go to http://lotra.org.
Dubois has lots of kid friendly activities on July 4, starting with Kiwanis Kids’ Games at Dubois Town Park at 10:30 a.m. Games include sack, stick horse and three-legged races, as well as a water balloon toss and a chance to win prizes. From 1:30 to 2 p.m., head over to the corner of Ramshorn and N. 1st Street for Pre-Parade Kids’ Games hosted by Mountain Grace Awana Ministry. These are fun activities for kids as they anxiously await the start of the parade.
The Dubois 4th of July Parade starts at 2 p.m., and the route goes from Dubois Town Park to the First Street intersection along Ramshorn Street. Spectators line up with anticipation to see horses, classic cars, military vehicles and tanks, fire trucks, tractors and a wide variety of floats. Be sure to get a good spot for one of the best parades in the state.
The Ice Cream Social takes place after the parade from 3 to 5 p.m. at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church grounds. This is another family fun activity for kids, and a great way to cool off with exciting flavors and toppings.
Experience Dubois’ favorite tradition since 1948—square dancing at Rustic Pine Tavern. This local tradition takes place every Tuesday evening from June 7 through August 16 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Adults $4, kids 12 and under $2. This festive celebration is located on the street outside of the Rustic Pine on the corner of 1st Street and Ramshorn.
As the sun begins to set, gather at the Dubois Scenic Overlook for a spectacular fireworks show. The Overlook is easily accessible and is one of the best vantage points in the Dubois area, making it the perfect place to watch the show. The fireworks are sponsored by the Town of Dubois with donations from the Never Sweat Recreation Board, Dubois Volunteer Fire Department and others. Turn on McKinley Drive, head up the hill and enjoy a splendid view.
Whether you’re celebrating the 4th of July in Dubois, Lander or anywhere else in Wind River Country, there is an abundance of activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Each of Wind River Country’s communities pride themselves on their annual 4th of July festivities, and many visitors come back year after year for more. Between events, be sure to check out Hudson, Riverton, Shoshoni and the Wind River Indian Reservation to experience all that Wind River Country has to offer. From culture to cuisine to outdoor recreation, there’s something for everyone. Stay safe and have a fantastic 4th of July weekend in Wind River Country.