Best of Wyoming

Explore innovation throughout the state of Wyoming!

WPM’s ‘Best of Wyoming’ offers snapshots of creative and inspirational ventures in communities across the state. If you have recommendations for this page, please e-mail Best of Wyoming’s curator (ddenison@uwyo.edu) or post upcoming events in the Wyoming Public Media calendar.

Each month a different community is featured. The pages below feature Artists, Performers, Wyoming Heritage and the Great Outdoors in each community. For other nonprofits in the state, visit the Wyoming Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations page. Listen to local history on the WPM Wyoming Stories page, and view the Best of Wyoming Listener Favorites & Photo Contests Pages.

Saratoga Museum

Aug 1, 2013
The Saratoga Museum

The Saratoga Museum is a delight for all ages. Located in Saratoga, Wyoming, nestled between the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Mountains, the Saratoga Museum has one of the largest geology collections in Wyoming.

Bison bones discovered at The Casper Site are also a part of the museum's collection. Long-time board member Rod Laird was one of the discoverer's of the site. Laird has been the driving force behind the museum for the last 20 years and he held the first World Atatl Atatl contest.

Whitewater Park – Green River

Jul 30, 2013
Green River Recreation Department

At Expedition Island Park, made famous by the launching point of John Wesley Powell’s historic expedition of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon in 1869, you will find an amenity for floating river users and swimmers of a wide range of abilities. The Whitewater Park and North Channel Tubing projects were completed in the summers of 2008 and 2009. These projects have enhanced the river that splits and surrounds the island.  In the north river channel, directly adjacent to the City’s outdoor splash park, the City created a 1,200 feet long lazy river/tubing channel.

Green River Wild Horse Tours

Jul 18, 2013
Green River Wild Horse Tours

View wild horses in their natural environment as well as a host of other wild creatures that make the high desert of Wyoming their home.

Visitors can enjoy seeing the magnificent vistas  at every turn. Tours will take visitors around Sweetwater County viewing the wild horses, wild life and scenic vistas that make this corner of the world a beautiful and unique experience.

The vehicle that Green River Wild Hours Tours uses is unusual, the Australian made, Pinzgauer holds ten passengers. This machine gives participants the outdoor experience without walking,

Green River Arts Council

Jul 2, 2013
Green River Arts Council

The Green River Arts Council provides access to the arts for the citizens and visitors of Green River.  The Council offers community-wide opportunities to celebrate creativity through frequent and fun events and festivals.  

Sweetwater County Historical Museum - Green River

Jul 1, 2013
Sweetwater County Historical Museum

Discover the rich cultural heritage of southwestern Wyoming at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. Established in 1967 to preserve and present the history of Sweetwater County, the museum is located in a renovated 1931 post office building. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.  The museum contains long and short-term exhibits, a large historical photograph collection and local history materials.

Pronghorn & Fremont Lake - Pinedale

Jun 25, 2013
Zachary Wheeler

The drive to Pinedale from US-HWY 189 or US HWY 191 is along one of the greatest migrations in North America.  Each fall and spring, 300-400 Pronghorn migrate 170 miles from their summer birthing grounds in Grand Teton National Park to their winter grounds in Pinedale, Wyoming.  This great migration, named by biologists as the “Path of the Pronghorn” is remarkable and one of the last long-distance animal migrations in the world.

Green River Rendezvous – Pinedale

Jun 11, 2013
Dawn Ballou

Pinedale’s oldest and longest standing cultural event is held annually the second weekend in July and is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.  Vendor Street Fair, Museum of the Mountain Man specialty tours and demonstrations, Kids’ Fishing Derby, “Spirit of the Winds” Fireworks Show, 3-on-3 Rendezvous Basketball Tournament, Rendezvous Parade, nightly rodeos, live music, and Native American Dance performances makes this Pinedale’s biggest summer event.

Museum of the Mountain Man - Pinedale

Jun 6, 2013
Dawn Ballou

During the years 1824-1840, the Pinedale region was at the heart of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade, which supplied precious beaver pelts to the fashion industries of Europe and the eastern United States. Mountain men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick and William Sublette carved their legends here, and opened the way for the pioneers of the Oregon Trail. The Museum of the Mountain Man shares a comprehensive collection of Rocky Mountain fur trade journals, relics such as Jim Bridger’s Rifle and the finest Native American sheep horn bow still in existence. 

Pinedale Fine Arts Council - Pinedale

Jun 1, 2013
Pinedale Fine Arts Council

The Pinedale Fine Arts Council, a community based non-profit 501(c)3 corporation serving Sublette County (WY), has provided high-quality performing arts events, visual and literary arts programs and artist residencies since 1976. Largely through volunteer efforts and consistent community support, PFAC helps connect a dynamically growing corner of Wyoming to the rest of the world.

Northwest College Outdoor Program – Powell

May 30, 2013
Northwest College Outdoor Program

It’s called adventure education for a reason. You’ll immerse yourself in beautiful Yellowstone country, taking only one class at a time in NWC’s Outdoor FOCUS. You’ll learn:

Heart Mountain – Powell

May 29, 2013
Okumoto Collection, HMWF

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) was formed in 1996, and in August 2011, completed the construction and opening of a world-class Interpretive Center  located on the site of an internment camp for Japanese and Japanese Americans near Powell, Wyoming. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center opened in August 1942 and imprisoned more than 14,000 people during its three-year existence.

Homesteader Museum - Powell

May 7, 2013
Homesteader Museum

Celebrating one of the nation’s first Reclamation Land and Dam Projects, the Homesteader Museum features the pioneering spirit that built a western town and turned barren sagebrush fields into fertile land.  With hundreds of exciting vintage displays, the museum has been described as “the best hidden treasure in Wyoming!” Step into homesteader cabins, let your kids climb aboard the Burlington Northern caboose and experience exhibits that will take you back in time.

Come learn about Homesteading History!

Mountain Plains Heritage Park – Buffalo

May 1, 2013
Mountain Plains Heritage Park

The Mountain Plains Heritage Park is a unique crossroads of the history of the American West. Across this park land many different cultures have lived, traveled, and traded, each leaving a distinguished mark on the land. The park typifies the spectrum of harmonies and conflicts between cultures and nature. Today the park provides for the many interests and abilities of visitors to consider the past and enjoy the present.

Located at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains on the confluence of three high plains creeks, this land has been the common ground for many Americans:

Historic Cowboy Carousel - Buffalo

Apr 25, 2013
Arts Along the Bighorns

The Cowboy Carousel, manufactured at North Tonawanda, New York in 1925, ran for 63 years on Gillian’s Fun Deck in Ocean City, New Jersey. The horses that are now on the carousel are fiberglass reproductions of original wood carvings by local renowned Buffalo artist and wood carver, Bill Jennings.

Sheridan College Johnson County Campus – Buffalo

Apr 12, 2013
Sheridan College in Johnson County

The Sheridan College in Johnson County Art Gallery is located in the college commons at 235 Main Street in Buffalo Wyoming.  As you enter the main doors, walk down the stairs to reach the commons area.  The current display is from the collection of Todd Cornell and is titled “20 years in China” Artwork that he collected during his time there is currently on display and will continue to be shown through the end of May in the commons of the college.  Todd will also be teaching Chinese 1010 for Sheridan College in Johnson County in the fall of 2013.

Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum – Buffalo

Apr 1, 2013
Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum

In May of 1900, pharmacist Jim Gatchell opened a drugstore in Buffalo, Wyoming. That facility became a regional landmark for over fifty years.  An avid historian as well, Gatchell was acquainted with many famous and colorful characters from the Big Horn Mountain – Powder River Basin frontier area.

Rendezvous Balloon Festival – Riverton

Mar 15, 2013
Riverton Rendezvous Balloon Festival

A burst of color hits the sky at dawn when hot air balloons inflate and loft off !! Spectators at the launch site witness the event as the balloons drift upwards around them. A fantastic event you don't want to miss.

The Hot Air Balloon Rally is the third weekend in July. They try to take off at dawn if the weather permits.

For more information visit http://www.rivertonchamber.org/visit .

Central Wyoming College

The rare and valuable Stewart Collection of clothing, toys, tools, weapons and other artifacts was donated in 1996 to Central Wyoming College by Pat Stewart of Lander and her son, Lynn Stewart, of Dubois.

Wind River Indian Reservation

Mar 7, 2013
Wyoming's Wind River Country

Wyoming’s Wind River Country is home to the seventh largest Indian reservation in the country. Encompassing more than 2.2 million acres, the Wind River Indian Reservation is home to the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho tribes.

CWC Peck Arts Center – Riverton

Mar 1, 2013
Central Wyoming College

The Robert A. Peck Arts Center was built in 1983 and is one of the finest visual and performing arts facilities in the region. The facility has several performing spaces, including the 942-seat theater, a music rehearsal hall, and a black box theater/dance studio. The theater is fronted by a 6,000 square foot gallery space which leads into the Art Wing.

Wyoming Pioneer Museum – Douglas

Feb 13, 2013
Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

Open year 'round, the Pioneer Memorial Museum is located on the Wyoming State Fairgrounds in Douglas, Wyoming. The museum collects, preserves, interprets and displays historical and cultural materials related to the westward expansion, to Wyoming pioneers in particular and the west in general.

Wyoming Public Media

Wyoming Public Media captured the oral history of Wyoming’s families, farms and ranches during the 2012 Wyoming State Fair. WPM set up a booth giving away fans for the hot summer day and did a live broadcast with Grady Kirkpatrick’s Morning Music featuring an acoustic performance from Wyoming’s Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band.  WPM recorded Wyoming Oral Histories of fairgoers that stopped by to chat. Enjoy a few of these engaging stories on the link below…

State Fair Interviews

High Plains Old Time Music Festival – Douglas

Feb 1, 2013
Courtesy Douglas Budget Newspaper, Adam Herrera

High Plains Old Time Music Festival is a two-day competition with the largest variety of categories in the region.  Some of the categories include: fiddle, vocal, banjo, vocals, piano, variety and guitar.  Preliminaries are on Saturday and the finals are on Sunday.  Over $3,000 will be offered in cash and prizes!  The dates for this year are April 13 and 14.

Fort Laramie – 20 Miles NW of Torrington

Jan 30, 2013
Fort Laramie

Crossroads of a Nation Moving West

Originally established as a private fur trading fort in 1834, Fort Laramie evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains, before its abandonment in 1890.  This “grand old post” witnessed the entire sweeping saga of America’s western expansion and Indian resistance to encroachment on their territories.

For a nice history of Fort Laramie, visit the National Park Service web site.

Eastern Wyoming College Music - Torrington

Jan 25, 2013
Eastern Wyoming College Music

The Eastern Wyoming College music department consists of two instructors, three performing ensembles, and many enthusiastic students. Michael T DeMers is the director of the music department and together with Janet Howard they instruct multiple academic courses in music for both music majors and non-majors alike.

Goshen Community Theatre – Torrington

Jan 18, 2013
Goshen Community Theatre

Goshen Community Theatre was started in 2002 by a group of people who love live theatre. The Theatre puts on two major shows each season, usually a musical in the Spring and a play in the Fall. In June each year they host a Children's Theatre Workshop for kids age 8 - 15. The workshop runs for about a week ending with a production by the kids. They work on making their own costumes and set pieces as well as learning lines, songs, and choreography. The Goshen Community Theatre is a non-profit organization, and the majority of the people who work on the productions do so as volunteers.

Homesteaders Museum – Torrington

Jan 18, 2013
Homesteaders Museum

The Homesteaders Museum is located one mile north of the Historic Oregon Trail in the old Union Pacific Train Depot, which opened its doors to passengers and freight in 1925. They are one of two Spanish style depots still remaining in the area and are included in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is home to hundreds upon hundreds of manuscripts, documents, photographs, artifacts and various other Homesteading memorabilia that tell the story of the settlement of Goshen County.

Wyoming State Capitol – Cheyenne

Jan 8, 2013
Wyoming State Capitol

Born in 1867 in the path of the transcontinental railroad, the Union Pacific crews arrived as they laid the tracks westward. Cheyenne soon laid claim to a higher status than older Wyoming settlements such as those at Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger, and the mining town of South Pass City, changing Cheyenne from a village to a city in a matter of months. The seat of the new territorial government was established in Cheyenne in 1869.

Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra

Jan 7, 2013
Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra

The CSO formally organized in 1954.  After many successful years as a community volunteer orchestra, the symphony converted to a professional orchestra in 1981.  The new vision for presenting higher level performances required employing a professional music director and conductor, selecting musicians through auditions and raising sufficient funds to pay for their services.  At this same time, a dedicated group of Cheyenne residents recognized the need to replace school and church venues with a specialized event center for the presentation of the performing arts.  Their tireless campaign rai

Laramie County Community College Art Gallery – Cheyenne

Jan 4, 2013
Laramie County Community College

The Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery hosts dozens of shows throughout the academic year, showcasing artists from the college, community and nation.

The gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and is free to the public.

Upcoming Events  2013 Visual Arts

Tasting Boundaries

Featuring multi-media sculpture experience artist Lea Zoltowski Ertzby
January 22-February 22
Reception: Thursday, January 31,

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