Where Weston County Comes Together

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Our History

The Weston County Fair is a tradition dating back to 1904. The event was held sporadically until 1909, again in 1915-1916 and from 1925 to 1928. Since 1937, following donation of the land that today comprises the Weston County Fairgrounds, the fair much as we know it today has been held. The annual week-long celebration begins with a parade through downtown Newcastle and culminates with the second round of the Weston County Junior Rodeo the following Sunday.

Recent years have brought new growth to the Weston County Fair as families have committed to juggling jobs, volunteer efforts, and the 4-H and FFA involvement of their children. The Weston County Fair has seen a notable increase in the pee-wee show, the pre 4-H program and the annual Weston County Junior Rodeo. There are several signs indicating our potential for continued growth. The kindergarten class of 2017 is the largest in recent history. Entities like the Weston County Extension Office, the Weston County Commissioners, 4-H club leaders and organizations like Friends of Fair have shown strong commitment, contributing time and resources. With strong support from our leaders, local residents and businesses, we are sure the Weston County Fair will continue as a strong tradition. As you’ll read below, it’s a tradition that took years to established and was many years in the making…

“No one or two men, or committee, can make a complete success of the county fair,” reads an August 1915 edition of the News-Journal. “It takes the co-operation of all to bring the greatest success…” The same edition of the newspaper encouraged local citizens entering the fair to give strong consideration to the quality of their entries, realizing that they may be exhibited at the larger Wyoming State Fair.

Donna (Baldwin) Hunt takes the reins as Ms. Rodeo Weston County.
During some early years, 1925 included, an exhibit featuring Weston County agriculture was sent to be displayed at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas.

Weston County had its first agricultural agent in 1917. Although most of his work involved the County Council of Defense for the World War I effort, he did start several 4-H clubs. In 1920, at the request of the county commissioners, the county agent prepared an agricultural exhibit for the Wyoming State Fair. As shown in the inset photograph, this effort was also put forth in 1925.

In 1928, County Agent Arthur Hay was very supportive of 4-H work in the county. He organized a county demonstration contest with the winners receiving a trip to the Wyoming State Fair. According to Hays, fair activities required more of his time than any other of his projects as county agent. Hays said that in its early years the county fair was largely a community activity hosted by the Lions Club and the American Legion of Newcastle. The attractions were small crops and vegetables and the only premiums awarded were those donated by area merchants.

During some early years, 1925 included, an exhibit featuring Weston County agriculture was sent to be displayed at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas.

In 1927 the Weston County Commissioners appropriated $200 for the county fair and exhibits for the Wyoming State Fair. In 1928 that same amount was appropriated. Merchants, who believed the amount was inadequate, donated an additional $300. With no formal fairgrounds, a hall was rented for the occasion. Entry into the fair consisted of farm crops, vegetables, fruit, poultry, culinary, needlework and 4-H projects. It was about this same point in history when the Kilpatrick Bros., former owners of Cambria Fuel Co., donated the land that is the present-day home of the Weston County Fairgrounds.

1946 marked the Weston County Fair’s first ever beef show and subsequent livestock sale. By 1948 15 beef sold at the Weston County Fair bringing an average price of 43 cents per pound.

Young cowboys and cowgirls in Weston County have been participating in the Weston County Junior Rodeo since 1954.

By 1950 the Weston County Fair was a success with over 440 exhibits. In 1954 the first Weston County Junior Rodeo was added to the fair, a tradition that today continues.

1956 was marked as a banner year for the Weston County Fair with the attendance of Miss America, Sharon Kay Ritchie from Nebraska. Thousands attended what was remembered as a “spectacular fair” to see her give speeches and hand out awards.