WHEATLAND – The 2022 Platte County Fair perhaps had 10,000 visitors this year and that may be a small estimate if you figure 1,000 per day. The week ended as it began with the grounds filled with trailers, the sound of animals not wanting to be in those trailers and people working feverishly to get the chores done and the trailers moving. All fair results were not readily available at press time and there will be a special section that will come out next week with all the fair results.
Fair 1: The biggest draw by far was the grand finale pig wrestling contest at the Platte County Fairgrounds. There was a record number of teams entered for the contest and the show went on in the midst of intermittent raindrops which began to cool off a week that was sweltering at times. Shown is a team from Guernsey called Gettin’ Piggy Wit’ It and chasing the pig were Brody Sterner, Juliana Schiele and in the mud, Domonic Dimas. Each team had a clever name such as this Guernsey team and an all-female team called “The Great Hambonies.” Youth teams had 1:30 to capture their pig and get it into the barrel while the adult teams had only a minute to successfully compete the task. The Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department was on hand with the fire cannon to hose the muddy contestants off after their turn in the competition. The new addition this year was the teams that got their pig into the barrel and then did belly flops into the muck. Some of the pigs this year were so large that there were two broken plastic pig barrels.
Fair2: The Platte County Fair holds one of the largest parades of the year in Platte County and this year’s parade did not disappoint. The theme for the parade this year was all things tropical and in the 4-H float there were kids in blow-up animal costumes, some kids with live animals and this little steer who cried to get out of the barn and cried to go back after the parade. The Wheatland High School band thrilled crowds with their music as hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Wheatland while shop owners had outside sales going as well.
Fair3: Another popular activity was the Mutton Bustin’ and 42 contestants signed up to ride the buckin’ sheep. The show was run amid a leaded rain and blistering heat and in any given moment, you never knew what was going to happen.
Fair4: The junior ranch rodeo was held on Saturday afternoon and a large crowd of kids got a chance to rope dummy cattle and gather water from mother cows who were played by human actors with large milk bottles. The picture shows the crowds trying to catch the “mother” and get their glasses filled with water.
Fair5: In the 4-H Beef Show Madison McIntosh had a 1385 pound steer step on her foot. She continued to show her steer through pain and tears and then went above and beyond showing one more. When she got to the doctor the X-ray showed that her growth plate was broken and there was a piece of bone free floating in her foot. Surgery took place this morning.
Fair6: This year there was a new event called “Over the Hill Showmanship” where the tables were turned and the adults showed while the kids were the judges. They certainly didn’t make it easy on those adults. Some say it was revenge for their history in the ring. It was all in good fun and “Catwoman” Jodie Fitzwater was the grand champion. Fitzwater is also the WHS varsity softball coach. Pictured is WHS principal Josh Sandlian being judged by recent Guernsey-Sunrise graduate Libby Logan.
Fair7: Friday morning bright and early the kids had a chance to showcase their versatility as they competed in the Round Robin. Each student had to show an animal and answer questions in an allotted time before moving on to a completely different species. They had to show and answer questions about goats, sheep, cows, horses and pigs. Shown is Wheatland High School student Hadley Paisley and a steer.
Fair8: At the Thursday night roping the temperatures which hovered around 100 degrees all day finally fell into the 90-degree range. The Platte County Roping event was on the docket and before the adults took to their horses in team roping, the kids had a chance to rope some dummy steers.
Fair9: Noah Whitfield who is a 2021 graduate of Wheatland High School prepares to rope his cow in record time at the 2022 Platte County Roping event. This was a team roping event.
Fair10: The Wheatland High School Wrestling team held its second annual cornhole tournament in the big arena at the Platte County Fairgrounds. Last year the team only had a few entrants, but this year the event exploded and they were cornholing until well after sunset.
Fair11: Thursday night was kids night. It began with a pet show, The Lions Club ran games, a trivia table was set up, the Library was offering a free supper while Platte Valley Bank was serving up an ice cream social. DJ Magik who was on hand for just about every event did special music for the kids dance while the youngsters spent time in the bouncy houses.
Fair13: In the 4-H Horse show conducted on the first Sunday of the fair, the temperatures were brutal and the cold water provided was very welcome. The kids performed showmanship, did ranch excercises and competed in barrels and pole bending. Shown in Wheatland junior high student Peyton Unrein who had two of her horses entered and won with each horse. Unrein said that she participated in almost every activity except the cat show.
Fair14: The market/meat goat show was held outside in the show arena in perhaps the warmest day of the fair. Temperatures reached 103 degrees as these kids showed without looking like the heat was a factor. Even the Texas judge admitted that it was brutal. Shown is Kaylee Rasnake with her goat parading around the ring.
Fair15: The 4-H Beef show was held Thursday morning at the Platte County Fairgrounds at the Beef Show Ring. Kaidyn Kasun who won several awards during the week shows with her steer which is next headed for the State Fair.
Fair16: Brenna Fredericks who is in her last year to compete with FFA shows her Dairy goat on Thursday morning in the show ring. She showed in many categories and won numerous awards in the poultry division.
Fair17: The 4-H Swine Show was held on Wednesday night and Camryn Mickelson shows off her pig for the judge.
Fair18: Justin Taliaferro from Hartville was a first-time showman at the fair this year and came away with many ribbons and awards. Here he is showing in the poultry show on Wednesday afternoon.
Fair19: Trey Bauder is another FFA student who entered in multiple events with different animals. Here he is showing his sheep early Wednesday morning in the show arena. From horses to sheep to pigs to cows, this young man did it all this year.
Fair20: Emma Stoneking shows her award-winning rabbit at the 4-H Rabbit Show on Tuesday afternoon. The rabbit show was packed out and although nobody pulled a rabbit out of their hat, there were some incredible looking bun-buns including one big Angora who looked like he ate a cat.
Fair21: New to the Platte County Fair this year was Lions Club Jr. Pedal Tractor Pull run by a company out of Colorado. In parts of the Midwest this is huge and Wyoming is hoping to establish a foothold in the national competition for both boys and girls. Shown is Hayden Unrein trying to achieve the perfect run which is termed “a full pull.”
Fair22: The Gymkhana is an unsanctioned fun competition that ran on Monday night. Shown here is Heidi Will-Kennedy leading “Delilah” through the pole bending course on her pony. Although there was an equipment malfunction and the saddle slipped, little Delilah fell from the pony as the horse spooked and it took three cowboys to retrieve the horse and remove the saddle. The Wheatland girl had no injury and no tears as she got right back up on the horse. The Gymkhana is for any age from the very young to the very old and everything in between. The events included barrel racing and pole bending.
Fair23: Talking about kids who could show through anything, Kendra Bauder entered her cat in the cat show and somewhere in the midst of her showing, the cat decided that she just didn’t want to be there anymore. She began to bite into Kendra’s arm as the girl grinned and took the pain so that her score would not be affected.
Fair24: The 4-H Dog Show was held in two parts. The first part was held on Saturday morning and the dogs were judged on obedience, conformation and showmanship. Part two was Monday morning where an outdoor agility and rally took place. Glendo High School student Tess Palen runs through the course with her high flying dog.
Fair25: The fair kicked off on Friday night, July 29 at the Agriplex with a 4-H Fashion Show. The kids designed and sewed the outfits that they modeled. Shown is Allie Van Why from Chugwater High School.
Fair26: The level of adorable was off the charts for the Bucket Calf Contest Friday night before the Junior Livestock sale in the Show Ring. Fair board member Beth Douglas interviews this little cutie who was showing a long horn cow who was bigger than she was.
Fair27: Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent at the Junior Livestock Sale. The community, year after year comes together to purchase the animals that the kids raise and the money will then go for anything from new stock to supplies to even college tuition. Kaylee Rasnake shows her prize-winning goat that was sold that night. The rain which usually and traditionally waits until this very show to let go, stormed across the county with fierce rains, lightning and thunder. Fair officials were armed and ready as they had the indoor arena set up for the “just in case.” The four-hour show was packed with crowd-goers.
Fair28: Wheatland High School says farewell this year to FFA adviser Brice McIntosh. He has been a student favorite and has been instrumental in guiding the FFA chapter in Wheatland to great things. The community wishes him well as he takes on the task of running his own feedlot.
Fair29: On Wednesday night the Platte County Fair had a surprise visit from Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and his wife Jennie. They came and served up ice cream to the crowd and became very visable during a critical election year. Shown are Chuck Brown, Jennie Gordon, Gov. Mark Gordon and Mark DeLap.
Fair30: After a long day on Friday, the community got up early Saturday morning before the parade and enjoyed a free pancake breakfast. Shown cooking is Platte County Chamber of Commerce executive director Shawna Reichert and First State Bank president Cody Benton.