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.

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,

There are so many picturesque routes that lead to Cheyenne!

Historic Governors’ Mansion - Cheyenne

Dec 20, 2012
Historic Governors’ Mansion

The People’s House

In 1904, 14 years after achieving statehood, Wyoming built its first governor’s mansion, a modest house compared to the large dwellings built in other parts of downtown Cheyenne. The Historic Governors’ Mansion is located at 300 E. 21st Street, just five blocks from the State Capitol in what was, at the time, a middle class neighborhood.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Dec 7, 2012
Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Discover all 27 specialty landscapes – there truly is something for everyone. There is always something in bloom either inside the solar greenhouse or on the Grounds.

Sustainability at the Gardens

Cheyenne Depot Museum

Dec 5, 2012
Cheyenne Depot Museum

In 1993 the Union Pacific donated the depot building to the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County, and stabilization of the building was begun a year later.  Since then, the building has undergone various stages of an extensive rehabilitation project.  The first floor now houses the Cheyenne Depot Museum and a brewpub/restaurant.  The upper levels house offices for various city and private concerns related to tourism, economic development and the museum.

Virginia Dale Stage Station – 30 Miles South of Laramie

Dec 3, 2012
Virginia Dale Community Club

Listen to a bit of Virginia Dale history on the Wyoming Public Media Wyoming Stories link.

The Virginia Dale stage station, made of hand-hewn logs, is among the most important structures in Larimer County dating back to 1862 when the Overland Stage Company relocated its line from central Wyoming to Colorado. It served as “home” station where passengers could stop, rest and get a meal. It is the only one left in the United States in its original condition on its original site.

UW Dance Program - Laramie

Nov 30, 2012
UW Theatre & Dance

Since 1998, "Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo" has been an end-of-summer favorite with local audiences, with the natural rock formations at Vedauwoo offering a spectacular setting for the dance, which covers the entire performance area and connects the land to the sky. Created by UW faculty members Margaret Wilson and Neil Humphrey, the site-specific vertical dance choreography features UW students dancing on rocks both near to and far away from the audience.

Upcoming Events:

From the Ashes: A Cinderella Ballet (DANCE)  

Best of Wyoming

We continue our virtual tour of Wyoming in Laramie, home of the University of Wyoming, the Cowboys, the Snowy Range, and of course, the location of Wyoming Public Media.

Gryphon Theatre – Laramie

Nov 29, 2012
Gryphon Theatre

The Laramie Plains Civic Center is proud to host The Gryphon Theatre. The venue plays host to numerous events, ranging from local community productions and events to unmatched national and international touring productions and concerts.

The Theatre's unique history and charm add to its iconic status as one of Wyoming's premier performance venues.

For information on The Gryphon, please click HERE.

Laramie Mural Project

Nov 28, 2012
Laramie Mural Project

The Laramie Mural Project was formed as a collaboration between local artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance in order to enhance public art in historic downtown Laramie. For the past two years, with financial and in kind support from the Guthrie Family Foundation, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Laramie Beautification Committee and City of Laramie, local artists have created large scale murals on blank walls downtown.

Mark Jenkins

Laramie resident Mark Jenkins returned to Wyoming after climbing Mount Everest in May 2012.

Read More & Listen to Story

Rebecca Martinez

The University of Wyoming dedicated its new Visual Arts building January 20, 2012.

Read more

UW American Heritage Center – Laramie

Nov 20, 2012
American Heritage Center

The American Heritage Center is the University of Wyoming’s manuscript repository, rare books library, and official archives.  The AHC is one of the nation’s biggest, busiest, and best non-governmental archival institutions in the nation:  1) AHC holdings total 75,000 cubic feet (or 18 miles) of manuscripts and archives and 60,000 rare book volumes; 2) AHC assists 5-6,000 researchers every year, from K-12 and undergraduates to senior scholars to documentary filmmakers, and users come from across the globe; 3) in 2010 the AHC received the highest honor possible in the archival profession, th

Laramie Historic Railroad Depot

Nov 9, 2012
Laramie Historic Railroad Depot

The Laramie Railroad Depot was built in 1924 to replace the town's original Union Pacific Depot/Hotel that was destroyed by fire in 1917.  It served as Laramie's Union Pacific passenger depot until 1971 and as an Amtrak depot until 1983.

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