A celebration of the downtown district is set for this evening, and the whole community is invited.
The Downtown Mash Up, a six-year fall tradition, is scheduled for 7:30-11:30 p.m. today at the corner of Second and Custer streets, near the “Hollyhock Haven” mural.
The event includes live music, food and drink vendors, interactive mural painting, photo booth, wagon rides, scavenger hunt and University of Wyoming-themed giveaways. The UW cheer squad and pep band will be on the premises to get the crowd pumped up for Saturday’s home football game against Wofford College.
UW students are especially encouraged to attend, as UW Transit and Parking Services will operate free buses from a stop east of Orr Hall to the corner of Second and Custer. Buses are scheduled to run from 6-8 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight.
The musical line-up includes Laramie’s The Woodpile and Franklin Good Boy, along with Fat Stallion of Fort Collins, Colorado, whose founding members were music majors at UW.
“The Mash Up is the community’s way of welcoming students back to Laramie and giving them a sneak peek of experiences they will enjoy if they hang out downtown,” said Trey Sherwood, Laramie Main Street Alliance executive director.
She said this year’s event includes more partners than ever before.
“This event will be the most interactive event that we’ve ever done downtown,” she said.
Sherwood said Laramie Main Street and the downtown district see only positive outcomes from a healthy relationship with campus entities. For example, if the university is thriving, so too will local businesses. And, an exciting downtown district helps UW attract and retain faculty, staff and students.
“It takes common vision and trust, but it’s critical to the success of our community,” she said.
The interactive mural will be open for public participation, paint-by-number style. A local artist was commissioned to create the image featuring landmarks from campus and downtown, which will be set up on a large board. The finished piece will be installed at the Wyoming Union.
A video promoting UW’s new marketing campaign, “The World Needs More Cowboys,” will be screened at the event, and UniWyo Federal Credit Union will give away 1,000 stainless steel water bottles. Pistol Pete and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ draft horses will provide wagon rides from 7-9 p.m.
Since Monday, teams have been competing in a scavenger hunt that has taken them across campus and around town to complete challenges and earn points. Teams are competing for downtown gift cards, a University Store gift card and a $500 cash prize. The winning team will be announced at 10:30 p.m.
The scavenger hunt is being operated through a free app called Goosechase, and details are available at www.facebook.com/uwpride.
The Downtown Mash-Up is Laramie Main Street’s annual fundraiser, with proceeds to support the organization’s work to revitalize and preserve historic downtown Laramie. Some of Main Street’s more visible projects include downtown’s murals and colorful bike racks.
Sherwood said she was looking forward to continued collaborations with UW.
“We can’t wait to welcome the students downtown,” she said.