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Wyoming State Winter Fair in trouble, could cease without new volunteers

Oct 17, 2013 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

Volunteer help has dried up for the Wyoming State Winter Fair, and event organizers say the fair will be discontinued if more community support is not offered immediately.

Winter Fair president John Schumacher sent a letter to county officials and media outlets Oct. 11 regarding the situation.

"The Winter Fair is a non-profit organization and is put on by a group of volunteers, which brings me to the purpose of this letter," Schumacher wrote. "Without new support from the community, the Winter Fair will end."

The fair, staged annually in Lander for the past 45 years, has seen its volunteer pool age and shrink.

It has no affiliation with the Fremont County Fair or the Wyoming State Fair and is not supported by tax money.

Schumacher thanked business sponsors for their steady support over the years, but he said the Winter Fair board still needs more help if the event is to survive.

The Winter Fair offers a lineup of consumer shows, agriculture and animal competition, and entertainment each winter in a schedule usually encompassing two to three weeks.

"Frankly, there is not as much energy as in their earlier years," Schumacher stated. "Without additional volunteers to share and spread out the work, we cannot continue."

The board held an informational meeting earlier this month in hope of gathering new ideas and ways to operate the fair, but Schumacher wrote that the meeting drew no public participation at all.

"My conclusion is that either there is no interest in the community to continue the Winter Fair, or that the Winter Fair is a much lower priority than other events in people's lives," the letter stated.

He said the board plans another meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Carnegie Room of the Lander Library to give one more chance for community support to be expressed.

"Sometimes things run their course, but the board does not want to pull the plug if the community does, in fact, have a real interest in continuing the benefits of the Winter Fair," Schumacher wrote.

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