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Wyoming events

Something different for the New Year — a mac&cheese festival

in Travel/arts and culture
Mac&Cheese Festival
The team from HQ Southern Barbecue in Casper serves up a sampling of macaroni and cheese as part of the 2018 “Noon Year’s Mac&Cheese Fest” in Casper. (Courtesy photo)
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By Cowboy State Daily

A New Year’s celebration for those who love macaroni and cheese and may not be able to stay awake until midnight is on tap in Casper on Dec. 31.

The “Noon Year’s Mac&Cheese Festival” will mark the arrival of the new year 12 hours early in events to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31 at a civic auditorium known as “The Lyric” in downtown Casper.

The festival, in its third year, features macaroni and cheese samples from restaurants across Casper, said Julie Schmitt, marketing manager for Casper’s David Street Station, an outdoor events facility across the street from The Lyric.

“It kind of stemmed from the idea we are a family friendly facility,” she said. “We wanted to crate something fun for families to go to and we wanted to host a fun countdown event. And what draws people more than food?”

Kustom Koncepts in Casper created these trophies for the winners of the 2018 “Non Year’s Mac&Cheese Fest.” Trophies and bragging rights are on the line again on Dec. 31 as the annual celebration takes place in Casper. (Courtesy photo)
Kustom Koncepts in Casper created these trophies for the winners of the 2018 “Non Year’s Mac&Cheese Fest.” Trophies and bragging rights are on the line again on Dec. 31 as the annual celebration takes place in Casper. (Courtesy photo)

Free samples of the macaroni and cheese will be given away, with larger servings available for purchase.

The countdown to noon will begin at 11:59 a.m. and the winning “People’s Choice” and “Kids’ Choice” macaroni and cheese chefs will be announced at 12:45 p.m., Schmitt said.

The winners will earn a special trophy created by Kustom Koncepts, along with bragging rights.

“So the … winners will go home with a trophy and the glory of being the top mac and cheese people in town,” she said.

In the past, up to 1,000 people have attended the event, braving sometimes inclement weather to get to The Lyric, Schmitt said.

“Wyoming people are hearty people,” she said.

For more information, visit David Street Station’s website.

‘The Price is Right’ coming to Cheyenne

in Community/arts and culture
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If you’ve always wanted to hear your name followed by the phrase, “Come on down!” then you’re in luck: “The Price is Right” is coming to Cheyenne in December.

“The Price is Right Live,” a traveling version of the decades-long fixture of daytime television, will be in the Capital city on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

David Soules, booking and programming manager for the City of Cheyenne, says the touring game show is a close replica of what you see on TV.

“It’s the same people who put on the TV game show so you’ll see the same games, the prizes are similar – like cash, large appliances, and someone will have a chance of winning a car,” Soules said.

Soules said tickets to attend the show went on sale on Friday, July 12 and he expects them to sell quickly.

“I expect this to be a big hit,” he said. “It’s getting a lot of traction on social media. People are saying this is a ‘bucket list’ event.”

Attendees will likely be encouraged to show up in team shirts and “wacky costumes,” he said — similar to what is seen in other cities that host the production.

Those wishing to register as contestants for the show will be able to do so three hours before it begins. Those registering will not be required to purchase a ticket for the show and the purchase of a ticket will not guarantee that a person will be chosen as a contestant.

Outdoor living focus of Lander’s Garden Expo

in Travel
Outdoor living focus of Lander’s Garden Expo
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By Cowboy State Daily

Outdoor living — whether gardening, enjoying the wonders of your own backyard or traveling the streams and mountains of nature — is the focus of this weekend’s Garden Expo in Lander.

Sponsored by the Popo Agie Conservation District, Saturday’s free Garden Expo is about much more than its name implies, according to Diana Olson, the district’s program assistant.

“It’s titled the Garden Expo because that is what people can remember,” she said. “But we have three target audiences — one is those who enjoy gardening, one is people who just love their backyards … and the third is outdoor recreationists.”

Now in its eighth year, the Expo, held at the Lander Valley High School, usually draws about 1,500 people with its mix of workshops and vendors and special events for kids.

The Expo started as a way for the conservation district to help the community that supports it with tax dollars, Olson said.

“One component that really motivates us is is we are supported by a mill levy,” she said. “So we try very hard to cater to everybody — the rural community and the urban community.”

When the event began, it was aimed at gardeners and people who “love their backyards, the people who love their decks, grills, fairy lights and ponds,” Olson said.

But organizers decided to expand the offerings to non-motorized outdoor recreation in year three.

“We considered the fact that our backyard is the Wind River Mountains, so we brought in the third component, which is outdoor recreation,” she said.

In addition to the more than 50 vendors offering goods, the Expo offers a choice of two workshops every hour. Workshops this year address topics such as attracting hummingbirds, managing lawns, drying foods and raising strawberries.

The event’s keynote speaker is Panayoti Kelaidis, senior curator and director of outreach for the Denver Botanic Garden, who will address “Rethinking Wyoming Landscapes.”

And as if the variety of workshops wasn’t enough, the Expo will feature a Kid’s Corner, petting zoo and horse-drawn wagon rides.

“It’s an extremely fun thing and then we sprinkle the sugar on top,” Olson said.

Concessions will also be available, including “world-famous” roast beef sandwiches served by the Lander Valley Cattle Women and food from Deb’s Bread Wagon.

For more information on this weekend’s Garden Expo, visit the event’s website at http://www.popoagie.org/garden-expo.html.

#TravelTuesday is Cowboy State Daily’s weekly spotlight of events + happening around the state that warrant a little windshield time and fulfill your Wyoming wanderlust.

#TravelTuesday: Celtic music, food and fun on tap in Evanston this weekend

in Travel
Evanston Wyoming Celtic Festival
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By Cowboy State Daily

Anyone with a taste for Celtic music, food and fun or a fake Scottish accent they want to show off should head for Evanston this weekend to take part in the city’s Ceili at the Roundhouse Celtic Festival.

The two-day festival, now in its 11th year, features traditional Irish music by bands from Ireland and Scotland, along with performances by regional bands, workshops on Celtic crafts and music and the opportunity to sample Celtic food and drink.

The Ceili (the Gaelic word for “party”) focuses on all Celtic cultures, not just the Irish or Scottish, said Carolee Bowen, executive director of The Arts Inc., the group organizing the celebration.

“Celtic is much more than Irish,” she said. “It’s really diversified Celtic, not just Irish or Scottish.”

The event was launched in 2009 as a way to draw visitors to Evanston and Bowen said it has succeeded, largely because of the broad variety of events offered.

“We have a lot going on at the festival,” she said. “You can bring the family and everyone’s going to be entertained.”

Headline musical acts include Realta, a Belfast-based band, Imar, a band from Glasgow and Irish supergroup The High Kings, a quartet referred to as the male version of “Celtic Woman.”

Bands from Colorado and Utah will also be performing throughout the weekend.

“I think you have to have a solid lineup of music if it’s going to be a Celtic festival,” Bowen said.

Unique workshops include Celtic craft sessions for children, a Great Norse shield-making workshop, musical workshops for the guitar, fiddle, Irish flute and fiddle a mead tasting session and many more.

Musicians who have attended workshops through the day can get a chance to apply what they’ve learned during a traditional musical session after Friday night’s concert by Realta.

For those with an urge to try exotic accents, a Fake Scottish Accent contest will be held Friday evening. The contest will feature a “real Scottish judge,” according to the event’s schedule.

The event takes place inside the Evanston Roundhouse, a tourist attraction itself. The roundhouse, formerly used by Union Pacific, was built in 1871 and restored in 2009. By holding the Ceili in the roundhouse, organizers can avoid problems caused by unpredictable Wyoming weather, Bowen said.

The Ceili is just one of the many events organized by The Arts Inc. during the year. Others include the MAT (music, arts and theater) Camp and the Young Musicians Festival.

The festival opens at 3 p.m. Friday and continues until 11 p.m. Saturday. For more details, visit the Chili’s website at EvanstonCelticFestival.com.

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