The cancelation of the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo in July will impact the Natrona County economy by about $4.4 million, the head of the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said Wednesday.

"That is everything: lodging, transportation, food and beverage, retail, rentals, services," Brook Kaufman said.

Not to mention the parade, the demolition derby, the midway, the animal exhibits, the vendors, the rides, the cotton candy and the corn dogs.

The announcement of the cancelation of the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo scheduled for July 3-11 came along with the Wednesday announcement of the cancelation of the Cheyenne Frontier Days because of the risks of COVID-19, Gov. Mark Gordon said during a news conference in Cheyenne.

“All the rodeos impacted today are fabulous events," Gordon said. "It is with a heavy heart, and only after many long discussions with these fine folks on ways we could make large-venue rodeos work, did we realize that it just wasn’t going to be possible this year.”

Central Wyoming Fairgrounds Manager Tom Jones was among the other fair directors at the news conference.

The other canceled events included the Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous, Cody Stampede, Sheridan Rodeo and Laramie Jubilee Days.

“The health and safety of our fans, volunteers, contestants and first responders is our primary concern.” Gordon said.

Likewise, the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo is an important and beloved  part of Natrona County culture as well as attracting international visitors, Kaufman said. "Obviously, it's a huge disappointment."

Upwards of 145,000 people go to the Fairgrounds during the nine-day event, but that number is total visits and not unique visitors, Kaufman said.

Kaufman sees a glimmer of hope from those who are looking for recreation this summer, she said.

While the fair is canceled, people are looking for activities that don't involve crowds, she said.

People first are looking for beaches and then want the outdoors and open spaces, Kaufman said. "We have that in spades."

The fair and rodeo has been rescheduled for July 9-17, 2021.

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Visit the fair and rodeo's website to learn more about refunds and other information about the cancelation.

Ticket holders have three options:

  • Request a refund by July 31.  If a request is not made, tickets will automatically roll over to 2021.
  • Roll over tickets to 2021 by contacting the fair and rodeo or simply do nothing. After July 31, tickets will automatically roll over.
  • Donate the price of tickets to the committee to help recoup costs associated with the 2020 Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo.
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