After two years of COVID-19 troubles that created more bumps than a midway carnival ride, fairgoers have returned.

This year marks the first since 2019 that Wyoming’s summer traditions were restored to their full glory. The pandemic canceled a lot of activities in 2020. In Teton County the effects lingered into 2021.

This year, people were ready and they came out in force, said Rachel Grimes, manager of the Teton County Fair in Jackson.

That included a sold-out arena for the capstone event — Figure 8 races — and near-full grandstands for the rodeo and concert. From the pie-eating contest to three-legged races to the diaper derby, “our entries were up across the board,” Grimes said.

Midway mega-passes — $100 apiece for unlimited rides all week at the Frazier Carnival — sold at a pace that was “through the roof,” Grimes said. Fully 1,500 went out the door.

As 4-H youth pampered their steers, sheep and pigs July 29, Fair Board Chairman Zach Vosika spent a calm, morning moment surveying the auction arena with fellow organizers. The auction grossed $860,000 this year, $20,000 more than last year, Grimes said.

“The crowds we saw here just spoke for themselves,” she said. “There were a lot of people here having a good time.”

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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