Big sounds in a small town

Jason Shogren of the J. Shogren Shanghai’d Duo performs June 7 on Simpson Plaza as part of the University of Wyoming’s Summer Programs. The band is set to also perform Saturday at Windstock II. SHANNON BRODERICK/Boomerang photographer

SHANNON BRODERICK

The smallest town in America is set to get quite a bit larger this weekend, when bands from around the region converge at PhinDeli Town Buford for an afternoon of live music.

Windstock II is set to run from noon-10 p.m. Saturday at the Interstate 80 stop that sits about 23 miles east of Laramie.

Fort Collins, Colorado, band Ben Wah and the Blue Balls is scheduled to kick off the day at noon, followed by Laramie’s J. Shogren Shanghai’d duo at 2 p.m. Cheyenne’s Avenue is scheduled to take the stage at 4 p.m., followed by Laramie’s Elk Tongue at 6 p.m. Black White Blues, also from Cheyenne, will perform at 8 p.m.

The Vedauwoo Volunteer Fire Department will have food for sale, with proceeds to benefit the group’s work. There will also be craft vendors on site with their wares on display, and dry camping will be available. Admission is free, town manager Jason Hirsch said.

Buford is also a stop for the Band of Brothers Poker Run and Rodeo taking place Saturday between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Cheyenne-based motorcycle club organized the event as a fundraiser for women’s and homeless programs at the Cheyenne VA Medical Center.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch organized the inaugural Windstock music festival in 2016 on a whim and decided people had enough fun that he wanted to host its successor this summer.

“It turned out pretty well, so I wanted to try and make it an annual event,” he said.

The name was inspired by the weather at the event in 2016, which he’s hoping won’t be quite as gusty this time around.

“We figured (the name) out last year after everybody kept getting blown off the stage,” he joked.

PhinDeli Town Buford, which was originally named Buford, sits about halfway between Laramie and Cheyenne.

The unincorporated settlement bills itself as the smallest town in the country, with a population of one person. It was founded during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s, and at its peak it had a population of about 2,000.

The town, which consists of a convenience store, gas station and house, was sold in 2013 to two Vietnamese men, who renamed it to promote a brand of coffee sold at the store.

Hirsch said the smallest town in America will be a fun place this weekend.

“Come join us and have a good time,” he said.

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