News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
County launching Independence Day festivities Thursday
Jul 3, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
Fourth of July festivities begin Thursday in Fremont County with the Old Fashioned Community Independence Day Celebration in Pavillion.
"Everything is going great," Fremont County Fire Protection District Battalion 7 Fire Corp member Randee Krone said Thursday morning as she set up for the event. "The guys are out putting out the fireworks right now."
The evening begins at 5 p.m. at the Pavillion Recreation Center, 424 S. Main St., where firefighters will be flipping burgers for dinner.
Hamburgers are $5 or $5.50 with cheese. The meal includes baked beans from Miss Ginny's Roost, chips, a cookie and a drink.
Hot dogs also are available for $3.30, or $4 with beans. A la carte offerings consist of pop for 50 cents, coffee and iced tea for 25 cents and cookies for 25 cents.
After dinner, an auction is scheduled for 7 p.m. followed by fireworks at dusk. Krone said the show will be "as big as we can afford."
"We try to make it last about 20 minutes," she said. "Then the dance is going on afterwards. If you're free, you guys come on out."
Dancing is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m., with music by the Lost Springs Band.
Krone said her group has its event on July 3 so as not to compete with any other Independence Day celebrations in the county. The timing also was designed to allow more volunteers to help with the Pavillion show, but Krone said participation has been dwindling recently.
"There's only two guys to light the fireworks," she said. "Hopefully we'll be able to do it next year."
The Fourth of July gets off to an early start in the Fremont County seat with the annual Lander Half Marathon and 5k at 6 a.m. at Centennial Park. This year, the event also includes a one-mile race for kids.
The run/walk raises money for 35 local nonprofit organizations through donations that will be matched 30 percent to 50 percent by the Lander Community Foundation. Donations must be made by July 11 to be eligible for the match.
After the race, a pancake breakfast is 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Senior Citizens' Center, 205 S. 10th St., including pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee for $5 per person.
The 120th Pioneer Days Parade will proceed along Main Street at 10 a.m. followed by a buffalo barbecue at noon in Lander City Park.
In the evening, Paxton Cady Memorial Bull Riding will begin at 6 p.m. in the Triple X Rodeo Arena on Willow Creek Road. The Pioneer Days Rodeo is at 6:30 p.m. at the Lander Old Timers Rodeo Arena, 2 Rodeo Drive. Admission is $3-7.
The city's fireworks show will be visible at dusk from the fairgrounds.
Tickets and registration forms for all events are available at the Lander Chamber of Commerce, 160 N. First St.
On the north side of Fremont County, Dubois hosts its own July 4 celebration, beginning with a parade at 2 p.m. followed by a duck race and fireworks.
In a press release this week the Bureau of Land Management said fire danger is low to moderate throughout Wyoming. Regardless, officials urged caution when setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July.
BLM fire management officer Kyle Cowan pointed out that with above average annual moisture in much of the state, Wyoming has an "unprecedented" grass crop this summer.
"As the grass begins to cure, the potential of large fire growth will exist," Cowan said. "We are asking the public to be careful when they are out recreating on public lands this July 4 and remind everyone that fireworks are prohibited on BLM-managed lands in Wyoming."
The BLM restricts use of fireworks year-round.