ENCAMPMENT — After a one-year absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 60th annual Woodchopper Jamboree and Rodeo will return to Encampment on June 19 and 20, Father’s Day weekend.
Activities will be hosted at the Lions Club Arena and cost $10 per day for everyone over 12 years of age. Those under 12 can attend for free.
This year’s woodchopping events are dedicated to the memory of Larry Jones, who lived from 1941 to 2021. Jones was the event’s longest running competitor, having competed in 56 of the 60 years these activities have been hosted .
“Larry was a true gentleman, an avid competitor and embodied the true ‘Spirit of Competition.’ Ge will be missed by all,” the event website stated.
Woodchopping events will be hosted in the morning starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday, while the Wyoming Rodeo Association events will follow in the afternoon starting at 1 p.m. each day.
Weekend activities begin at 7 a.m. June 19 with a pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the men and women of the Encampment Fire House.
After the hearty, all-you-can-eat breakfast, people can attend the parade that begins at 9 a.m. and will travel along Wyoming Highway 70 through town past the Grand Encampment Opera House. It will continue around the corner past the Post Office and Town Hall to the woodchopping grounds at the Lions Club Arena. The star of this year’s parade will be Nick Carson, who is serving as this year’s grand marshal. The Cheyenne Trotters Equestrian team and this year’ s County Fair Queen Lindsie Farver will also be featured in the parade.
After a full day of activities with woodchopping in the morning and rodeoing in the afternoon, there will be a melodrama at the Encampment Opera House starting at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
A barbecue lunch will be served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. through the afternoon by the A Bar A Ranch and the River Ridge Cabins. There is a separate charge for this lunch.
The woodchopping contest has an added purse of more than $4,000 this year.
There are 11 events in woodchopping that count for points and three non-point events. The all-around points winner is based on a two-day point total. There will be a first-, second- and third-place winner in the point events. The entry fee is $10 per event and $20 for team events.
There will also be three additional championship events:
— The Rocky Mountain Championship Lumberjack sponsored by High Plains Foam Buildings.
— The Rocky Mountain Championship Lumber Jill Sponsored by Willow Glen Ranches.
— The Open Class Power Saw contest sponsored by Harvey Heavy Equipment and Truck Service.
The afternoon traditional rodeo is a sanctioned WRA event that is co-sanctioned by the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association. There will be bull riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping and more. A $10,000 added purse will be included for the rodeo events.
There will also be kids’ events during these weekend activities such as a greased pole contest and a sawdust pit. These activities are sponsored by the Doggett Greenhouse. The Pepsi Co also will sponsor a pole throwing contest and an ax throwing event.
The main sponsor of this two-day activity is the Encampment-Riverside Lions Club. The Carbon County Visitors Council is also a sponsor of this whole weekend. The weekend’s activities also have about 51 additional business and civic sponsors from all across Carbon County and beyond.