Downtown Laramie is planning to welcome University of Wyoming students to town with music, dancing, games and more.
The Downtown Mash-Up, a seven-year fall tradition, is an annual event for students and the community to celebrate the connection between town and campus.
“This is our welcome back event for students and a kickoff to football season,” said Trey Sherwood, executive director of Laramie Main Street Alliance.
This year’s event is set for 7 p.m. today, with events to continue into the evening hours. In conjunction with the Downtown Laramie Farmer’s Market, which runs from 3-7 p.m., events will take place in and around Depot Park.
In keeping with its name, the Downtown Mash-Up offers a variety of events in one place, including live music, a street dance, improv comedy, food and drink vendors, UW-themed games, bouncy house, wagon rides, the UW Cheer Squad and more. Laramie bands The Locals and The Woodpile are scheduled to provide music.
Sherwood said one event she’s most excited about is an online scavenger hunt aimed at teams of students. In the days leading up to the Mash-Up, teams have been working on activities that take them to landmarks and businesses around Laramie. The more activities a team accomplishes, the more points it will earn.
“We’ll have an announcement and there’s a grand prize with cash, gifts and gift cards that they can win,” Sherwood said.
The top prizes includes $500 in cash and a $100 gift card to the University Store. Go to www.facebook.com/uwpride for more information about the scavenger hunt.
The scavenger hunt is intended to help students form friendships while exploring downtown Laramie. “That’s going to help us with awareness and engagement,” she said.
UW Transit and Parking Services will operate free buses from campus to downtown, with the service scheduled to run from 3-8 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight.
“We want to make it as easy as possible,” Sherwood said.
As the only college town in Wyoming, Laramie has a unique opportunity to build a relationship with UW students, Sherwood said.
“We need to make sure that students coming to the University of Wyoming feel welcome and engaged in any off-campus activity that they choose to participate in,” she said.
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.
“We get to be the cheerleaders for all the locally-owned businesses and be the steward of a vision for a vibrant downtown,” Sherwood said.