June 23, 2016
It’s the 4th of July, Independence Day, the day we step out and celebrate all things America. An abundance of amusements awaits you in Wyoming’s Wind River Country—what will you choose?
Choose Your Warm up for the 4th of July
Leading up to July 4, Wind River Country warms up for the most patriotic community celebrations you’ve seen. Will you A) choose a more historic or artistic approach to your American West revelry, B) focus on celebrating and spotting the impressive bighorn sheep, C) don a cowboy hat and boots for the evening, or D) sneak away for a quiet weekend in some of America’s best-preserved wild spaces?
- If you choose A, you may now select I) an artistic endeavor or II) historic immersion.
- I) Watch artists paint and sculpt at the Museum of the American West in Lander July 2. Artists will have 90 minutes to create their artwork in front of an audience, and spectators will then have the opportunity to purchase their favorite quick draw pieces at the live auction. The auction will benefit the Lander Old Timers Rodeo Association and Lander Art Center.
- II) Head to the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous in Riverton June 29– July 3. This is the only mountain man rendezvous reenactment held on the original, historic site. You will walk in the footsteps of the likes of Jeddediah Smith, Jim Bridger, and Kit Carson. Watch old-fashioned black powder shooting, tomahawk throwing competitions, and much more.
- SURPRISE: Option III) Do both!
- If you choose B, turn toward Dubois July 3, where the National Bighorn Sheep Center will be celebrating its 23rd Learn all about the largest wintering Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep herd in North America and the tours you can take to spot them.
- If you choose C, get ready for four nights of excitement! First, Dubois will hold rodeos Independence Day weekend—the nights of July 1 and 2. Then you’ll be all warmed up for the Grandaddy of ‘em all! The Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo is the oldest paid rodeo in the good ol’ U.S. of A., and you’ll get a real taste for the skills cowboy and cowgirls have developed and carried forward generation after generation. Get your hat and boots ready for July 3 and 4 in Lander!
- If you choose D, start packing up, and be sure to get as many activities in as you can in the great outdoors of Wind River Country: biking, hiking, trail running, rock climbing, camping, fishing, horseback riding, off-roading, whitewater rafting or canoeing …
Choose Your Wind River Country 4th!
July 4 itself is a county-wide celebration. Because you can’t be in four places at once, you must decide which event your patriotic duty calls you to attend. Will you A) get competitive—as either an athlete or as a fan, B) build your day around the kids, C) enjoy a few adult beverages outside or get creative with fireworks (but not both, right?), or D) get Western?
- If you choose A, do you choose a I) foot- or II) water-based race?
- I) Foot: Lander holds the Challenge for Charities half marathon and 5K run/walk (three more choices: 5K or half marathon? Run or walk? Participate or cheer?) on the morning of July 4. Take in the scenic views of the local favorite Baldwin/Squaw Loop while this great land wakes up, and if you place you get to choose a charity to receive funds!
- II) Water: Meet at Horse Creek Bridge in Dubois for a ducky race. Purchase a rubber ducky from local cub scouts, and they’ll all be dumped into Horse Creek after the parade. When they fish them out downstream, the winner will walk away with a small prize.
- If you choose B: would you rather be in fireworks-allowed-in-city-limits Lander or classic-cowboy Dubois for the 4th?
- I) Lander’s parade is an interactive spectacle that wraps up with fire hoses spraying the street to cool you and the kids off on for the hot day. Work up an appetite chasing candy and throwing/dodging water balloons, then head to Lander City Park for the Rotary Buffalo Barbecue lunch to fuel up before you head out to launch your own fireworks (they’re allowed in city limits on Independence day)!
- II) The full schedule of events in Dubois looks like a kid’s summer dreams come true. Start the day with a variety of kids’ games in the softball field of Town Park, hosted by KIWANIS, then take in the Dubois Parade through downtown, before filling those empty stomachs back at the ice cream social held by the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Before you know it, the sun will be setting and the fireworks will bring a grand finale to your day in Dubois.
- If you choose C, first arm yourself with knowledge and review your risk management skills, because on July 4 the city of Lander lifts its open container law and allows anyone to own and launch fireworks within city limits. Get creative, get festive, be safe, and share a few fun photos or videos using #windrivercountry, because we’ve found that the 4th of July in Lander is beyond description.
- If you choose D, get along, little doggie, to the Dubois Western parade, then either the Pioneer Days Rodeo (which also takes place July 3) or the Bad Boys of Bull Riding. You don’t have to choose just one—you can wrangle a day that includes two of the three events. Start in downtown Dubois at 2 for a Western parade that starts it all off with horses, cowboys, cowgirls, motorbikes, and more. Then gallop to Lander. There you can catch either the Lander Pioneer Days Rodeo, known as the Grandaddy of ‘em all, the oldest paid rodeo in the good old U.S.A. at 6:30, or the Bad Boys of Bull Riding at 6 p.m.