2017 Big Horn Basin Folk Festival
Come join us August 5-6, 2017, for a great weekend in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis!
We are celebrating our Wyoming heritage of artists, artisans, craftsmen and craftswomen
Big Horn Basin Folk Festival
For the third year, the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival will celebrate who we are - where we live - and what we do. What is special about Wyoming is we still work with our hands -- it's part of our heritage and even today's culture. Our artisans range from those who raise fiber animals and process their own fiber to those who work in forged metal; woodturners and furniture makers; jewelers and photographers, those who work with oil paints and those who work with paper. Below is a quick run-through of overall activities.
NEW!! Wyoming Folk Masters sponsored by Wyoming Arts Council
We are excited to help the Wyoming Arts Council celebrate its successful mentor-apprenticeship program. Each year, the Council helps pair qualified individuals who want to learn with outstanding mentors who can teach traditional skills. Several pairs of mentor-apprentices are at the Festival to share their skills and to talk about how they became interested in what they do. You can find them in the special Folk Masters tent. Some will be participating in the Storytelling Circle as well. Click on the Folk Masters thumbnail above to find out who they are and what they do.
Invitational Arts Show & Sale
The Invitational Arts Show & Sale includes artisans who produce and sell their own work, and which has been recognized as quality in their chosen medium. Last year, our artists ranged from woodworkers and furniture makers to jewelers to mixed media.
Kiwanis Trading Post
Kiwanis Trading Post area includes artisans and crafts persons, those who represent groups of artisans (i.e., galleries, museums, stores). There are also find food booths and those who sell "consumables," such as homemade soaps, candles, herbal and food products.
Folk Arts Demonstrators & Guilds
This is a family-friendly event -- great for grandparents and grandkids -- parents and children -- young adults interested in how artisans take the traditional skills and adapt them to today's modern aesthetics. There will be plenty of crafts persons demonstrating their skills, eager to talk about what they do and their own special techniques. Many don't sell at shows but simply create for their friends, family or to carry on a skill, so it's a rare opportunity to be able to visit with them and see their work. Click on the thumbnail above to find out more about the guilds and what they will be doing.
Music at the Pavilion
We've got a great line-up this year -- with Celtic, country, blues, gospel, traditional - plus Jewish/Israeli dancers -- all part of the great mix and sound that is Wyoming. You'll find most musicians performing at the Pavilion. This year's line-up includes:
- Darrell Lonebear, Wind River Arapahoe, hand-drumming
- Mt. Sinai Synagogue Dancers, Cheyenne, Jewish/Israeli dance
- Miss V, "Gypsy Cowbelle," Thermopolis, traditional & original country cowgirl, banjo & guitar
- Connie Dover, Sunshine Basin, traditional Celtic
- Jared Rogerson, Pinedale, country/Americana/Western/folk
- Whiskey Slaps, Laramie, traditional styles with contemporary picking & harmonies; guitar, mandolin, stand-up bass
- Round the Bend, Laramie, traditional folk
- Rattlesnake Ridge, Worland, country/rock/blues
- Heaven Bound, Basin, Sunday morning gospel
Wyoming Storytelling Circle
Last year we held the state's first-ever Storytelling Circle, and we are at it again. Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of art -- and one of the first to which children are exposed. Before the internet, television and radio, people told stories around campfires, on porches and anywhere where families or friends gathered. We still do -- and we are celebrating storytelling with a Storytelling Tent with members of the Big Horn Basin Storytelling Guild, along with some special guests -- artists, poets and singers who tell stories.
This year, the Storytelling Circle is sponsored by ThinkWY/Wyoming Humanities Council, with support from Hot Springs County Friends of the Library. Friends has a special program for kids Sunday noon -- where kids get to act out the story!
Don't forget Kiwanis Burgers & Brats Saturday at noon at the Kiwanis Shelter! And please patronize the food booths!
Gift of the Waters Pageant Days
This is the 67th consecutive year that the Gift of the Waters Pageant has been held in Hot Springs State Park. The terraces and hot springs had been used for years by the Native Americans, who believed that the waters were beneficial to health and that they could make a warrior invincible in battle. In 1896, representatives of the Wind River Reservation's Shoshone and Arapaho tribes sold the hot springs to the federal government, with the requirement that a portion of the land and springs be forever reserved for the use and benefit of all. There is a 5K Run/walk and 10K Run, a parade downtown, and Native American dance demonstration downtown. In the evening, the Shoshoni tribe from the Wind River Reservation will participate, along with local residents, in a pageant celebrating the historical event. To read the story of the actual historical event, click on the thumbnail above.
Brought to you by... Our Sponsors
There is no such thing as a free event -- someone must pay the bills. And we are grateful to those organizations, agencies and individuals who provide funding to create an event that honors "who we are, what we do and where we live." Thank you for helping us make this happen!