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Supporters pack room during Winter Fair meeting

Nov 8, 2013 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

After seeing a possible end to the Wyoming State Winter Fair, community members turned out Oct. 24 to show their support for the event.

During a standing-room-only meeting at the Best Western in Lander, John Schumacher, president of the fair board of directors, said he was pleased with the turnout and spoke with the residents to find out how to improve the annual event.

"The purpose of the winter fair is to support the local community during winter," Schumacher said.

He said the event needs many volunteers to make it a success

"I am the president, and I just can't keep doing it," Schumacher said, adding that the board is down to four people who do almost everything. "I want to speak with (the community) to see what the real interest is."

Many residents spoke about past events and ones they remembered from when they were children and asked how it might be possible to get things back to how they used to be.

The group suggested having the event at a different location to allow more venders to come. Some also discussed limiting and concentrating on making a few activities stronger or even combining the fair with others in the state, such as the Wild West Winter Carnival in Riverton.

It was determined the board should think about quality versus quantity to make the fair better and more enjoyable for people of all ages. Down the road, after the fair takes off, they said they could look at returning activities to the mix.

Some residents who attended agreed to volunteer their time to make the fair a success and recommended meeting more often to get caught up to speed.

"I just want to say thank you for what you have been doing," said Lonnie Pierce of Whispering Sage Equestrian Ranch.

Pierce said many of the children he teaches to ride horses usually showcase at the Wyoming State Winter Fair.

"The kids enjoy it, and I don't want to see it come to an end," he said.

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