The headliner for this year’s Park County Fair will likely need little introduction for local residents.
Country musician Ned LeDoux, a Kaycee native and the son of Wyoming legend Chris LeDoux, is set to perform at the fair this July.
“We wanted to go with someone that was country [and] Wyoming-based,” said Park County Events Coordinator Teecee Barrett.
Plus, one of Wyoming’s other country music standouts — Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band — will open the show.
Given the popularity of Williams’ band, “we almost feel like we have two headliners this year,” Barrett said.
The concert will again hit the grandstands on the Thursday of fair week, falling on July 25.
The fair will open Tuesday, July 23, with pig mud wrestling serving as the day’s big entertainment.
On Wednesday, July 24, the ranch rodeo will return to the horse arenas just west of the grandstands for a third straight year. A new addition planned for the 2019 year’s rodeo is mutton busting — where young cowboys and cowgirls attempt to hang on to wild and wooly sheep.
“I think that will be really fun,” Barrett said.
The Arenacross will not return to the 2019 Park County Fair, being replaced by the Knights of Valour jousting show, which performed at the fair a couple years ago.
“Everybody … we have talked to or mentioned it to seemed really excited about them coming back,” Barrett said of the knights, who will spar on Friday, July 26.
Closing out the fair on Saturday, July 27, will be the ever-popular demolition derby, which is always the top draw. Some 1,450 tickets were sold for last year’s derby and the county fair netted about $17,000.
Easton Corbin’s headlining performance was the second-biggest draw last year, with nearly 930 concert tickets sold, but it amounted to a roughly $15,000 net loss for the fair after all the bills were paid.
Barrett and fair advisory board members are hoping July’s concert can break even or perhaps even be a money-maker for the county.
“We felt like Ned [LeDoux] has just as much of a name in Wyoming as Easton Corbin or someone like that,” she said.
Barrett said the board discussed some other artists, “but we’re finding that entertainers are booking out two years in advance and it’s becoming harder and harder,” she said.
As an example of the difficulty, fair leaders had hoped to have the Gala of the Royal Horses perform on Friday, July 26. However, the group — which Barrett described as the “Cirque du Soleil” of horses — “got offered a big contract back East for 12 days in a row,” she said. “So you can’t blame them there.”
Carnival Midway Attractions is once again returning to provide rides and other amusements.
“They’re one of the best carnivals in the country, so if we ever stepped out of our dates, there are several fairs that want them,” Barrett said, adding, “they run a tight ship.”
Various free acts will also be on hand throughout the week.
Fair leaders will again offer free admission all day Tuesday, July 23, and on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, July 24-25.
The theme for the 2019 Park County Fair is “More than you imagined.”
Tickets for the concert and other events go on sale June 1.