Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Winterfest preparations begin

Preparations have now begun for this year’s Sundance Winter Festival, safe in the knowledge that Gillette Skijoring Derby has stepped up to handle the responsibilities of organizing the popular event. Sheryl Klocker of the Sundance Chamber of Commerce visited the council last week to make some of the necessary arrangements.

“We will be sponsoring the Winterfest on Saturday, February 12, hopefully on Main Street with your blessing,” she told the council.

Last year, when Winterfest first ran into issues with finding volunteers to organize the day, a plan was devised to move it to the county fairgrounds. On Tuesday, Mayor Paul Brooks expressed his pleasure with the decision to keep it in the center of town.

“I couldn’t be more delighted that you’re going to do it downtown,” he said. Though there may be a section of the population who are temporarily inconvenienced, he continued, “A whole lot of people who make a living here benefit from it.”

Brooks also mentioned that he heard from a lot of disappointed people last year when Winterfest was cancelled due to a lack of snow.

According to the Sundance Chamber of Commerce, Winterfest has attracted nearly 2000 visitors in past years and was this year listed among the top ten winter activities designated by the Wyoming Office of Tourism.

Klocker asked permission from the council to shut down the streets before the festival so that snow can be hauled in and the skijoring course can be constructed. She suggested the closure may occur at some point on the Thursday before the event.

She also asked if the organizers could once again use the council chambers to accept entries for the skijoring and to sell apparel. Both requests were approved by the council, with Public Works Director Mac Erickson directed to represent the city on road closure decisions.

Other preparations are also underway, Klocker said, such as ordering portapotties and searching for vendors and sponsors. Donations can be made through or contact the chamber to express your interest in being a vendor.

“It looks like we’re going to have a Winterfest – if we can just get a little more snow,” Brooks concluded.