Rocking Mountain living

The Higher Ground Fair, now in its third year, is a celebration of rural life in the West. This year’s fair is set to feature demonstrations, live music, craft vendors and more.

A two-day festival celebrating rural life in the Rocky Mountain West returns to Laramie this fall with more to do and see than before, according to organizers.

The Higher Ground Fair is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Albany County Fairgrounds, 3510 S. Third St. One-day admission is $10 at the gate or $16 for the weekend. There’s a discount for those 65 and older, and children 12 and younger are free.

Now in its third year, the event is organized by Feeding Laramie Valley with the goal of showcasing the culture and innovative spirit of people and communities in Western states.

“We are bringing together an entire mix of all the wonderful traditions and innovations of rural rocky mountain living — everything from music and art to gardening and agriculture to animals and the environment,” said Gayle Woodsum, executive producer of the Higher Ground Fair.

No fair would be complete without music, and the Higher Ground line-up includes popular local acts such as Birgit Burke, J Shogren Shanghai’d and Littlest Birds, plus regional acts like Prairie Wildfire, The Real Doug Lane Band and Jacob Larson Band. Music will be playing on three stages during the weekend. The Wind River Dancers from Fort Washakie are scheduled to perform at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“We’re bringing them from all over the region,” Woodsum said. “It’s an incredibly eclectic mix.”

The fair also includes exhibits, an artist marketplace, quilt show, demonstrations, draft horse show, llama and alpaca show and corn hole tournament.

Woodsum said one highlight this year was the presence of the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center. The museum gave a presentation last year, and this year a group of re-enactors will be coming to perform and interact with fairgoers.

“They’ll be walking through the fairgrounds in costume and in character so people can ask those questions and really learn in a very interesting way about people that generally aren’t in our public school history books, but were very important to the American West,” she said.

Other interests that will be represented at the fair include social and community action, sustainable living, energy, local food, folk art and agriculture and gardening.

Woodsum said an event that brings a variety of interests together offers groups a way to find new audiences for their work.

“For those of us who are interested in getting connected to things that inspire us, and also celebrate this wonderful land that we live in, you’d have to go to 20 different events to get what you get at the Higher Ground Fair in one place,” she said.

An adventure zone for children will be operated by a teacher from Denver who specializes in arts and crafts with children.

“We’ve got tons of really fun stuff happening,” Woodsum said.

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