A new regional fair to celebrate rural living in the Rocky Mountains is coming to Laramie September 24 and 25. It’s been said there’s no such thing as an original idea, but according to Gayle Woodsum, a long-time community organizer and founder of the fair’s sponsor, Feeding Laramie Valley, mixing great traditional ideas in a new way can result in something better than the original.
The Higher Ground Fair is designed to bring together a truly diverse mix of participants and fairgoers as it provides space for valuing the intersection of music, art, food, cultural awareness, traditional family farming and ranching, new agriculture, gardening, health and wellness, social action, animals, the environment and sustainable living, as a means of learning from each other to create a better future for all Rocky Mountain communities in the six states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and the Native First Nations that also call the region home.
“This is a challenging time in our world,” says Woodsum, for whom the Higher Ground Fair has long been a dream. “Individuals and communities are inundated by messages of fear and hate, underscored by the growing reality of health, economic and social disparities between people of privilege and people just struggling to survive. Yet, this is also a time of incredible ingenuity and hope coming from people determined to find community solutions to worldwide problems.
“Residents of the rural Rocky Mountains have always honored the grandeur of their environment by being resourceful, capable and tenacious. The Higher Ground Fair is an opportunity to celebrate their history and simultaneously set a new stage for leveraging community forces to develop creative possibilities for a better world — a stage that also promises a lot of fun.”
Organizes of the Higher Ground Fair have spread their reach wide to launch this new event with something for everyone: musical concerts and dance performances; art exhibits and workshops; agricultural displays and demonstrations; a llama and alpaca performance and fleece show; food vendors featuring regionally sourced ingredients; inspiring educational workshops and presentations; companion and wilderness animals; regional arts and crafts vendors; a kids adventure zone; gardening, composting and recycling exhibits — all at one event. All designed to bring people together who typically enjoy such offerings in separate environments.
Vendor and display booth spaces are being offered free of charge this debut year for the Higher Ground Fair, with participation applications being accepted for consideration as long as space remains available. A large volunteer corps will be responsible for the fair’s complex infrastructure, with volunteer recruiting incentives including free t-shirts, free fair entry, free lunches and free on-site camping. Fairgoers over the age of 12 will pay a $10 entry fee at the gate, $8 in advance; with tickets for elders 65 and over going for $8 at the gate and $6 in advance. Children 12 and under are free. Contact and other fair information can be found at www.highergroundfair.org, by calling 307.223.4399 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.