July 8, 2019 Press Release

The Fifth Annual Big Horn Basin Folk Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4, 2019, in Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming.
As part of the state-wide celebration of the Year of Wyoming Women-the 150th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, The Storytelling Circle at the Festival will present amazing stories about “Women in Herstory”. They will showcase Wyoming women’s special place in the history of the Big Horn Basin region and our state. Storytellers will focus on narratives and skits about women who settled Wyoming and women who contributed to the growth of our state through politics, medicine, homesteading, and as entrepreneurs. A story or two may even be told about female outlaws and other ruffians! Storytelling takes on a bit of a twist Saturday night with the telling of ghost stories beginning around 7:30pm (after the Gift of the Waters Pageant). Jonathan Gottschall, an American literary scholar specializing in literature and evolution, wrote: “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” A good concept to keep in mind when we listen to the ghost stories!
The raconteurs and fabulists will be coming from Clark, Basin, Cody, Riverton and Thermopolis. Several will present in costumes created by Suzi Sellers from Clark. We may even hear from “Lilian Heath”, who was the first woman physician in the state of Wyoming and one of the first to practice medicine west of the Mississippi River. She is notorious for having used the top of the skull of outlaw Big Nose George Parrott as a doorstop and pen jar. Several Speech and Debate team members from the High School will also share their narrative talents during the day. Added to the schedule this year will be Children’s Story Hour, each day, with interactive stories for children.
The festival is open to the public without charge. Sponsors include the Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Thermopolis, and Hot Springs State Park with support from, Wyoming Arts Council, Wyoming Humanities Council, Pinnacle Bank, Las Fuentes, Big Horn Federal, and Hot Springs Travel & Tourism.
Food will be available throughout the day on both days. The Thermopolis Kiwanis Club will serve their always popular burgers and brats lunch on Saturday and a Food Court will feature a variety of eats on both Saturday and Sunday.
The festival is held the same weekend as the Gift of the Waters Pageant Days. The Pageant tells how the hot springs were given to the state by the Native Americans on the Wind River Reservation. It will be performed starting around 6 pm in the area around the Big Spring, Saturday and Sunday evening.
Contact bighornbasinfolkfestival@gmail.com for specific inquiries or visit wyomingfolkfestival.com . Applications for vendor space in the Kiwanis Art Fair and the Trading Post can be downloaded from the festival website. Applications will be accepted through July 27, 2019
Note: A more detailed roster of artists, performers, and programs will be published closer to the event.

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