A cornucopia of events aimed at providing a summerful of entertainment for all comers includes the annual Byron Days celebration in July as well as numerous other attractions during June and July with others later in the planning stage.
First up on Saturday, June 1, and sporting the theme, “I’m Only Half-Crazy,” is what’s billed as the town’s first half-marathon, sponsored by J&J Promotions. Runners of all ages and skill levels can participate by meeting in front of the former Byron school on Main Street at 7 a.m. The registration fee includes a T-shirt, and information is available at byronwyevents.com.
On Sunday, June 2, the Carson Barnes Circus will present its big top shows at 2 and 5 p.m. Two free events will be held in connection with the circus, said Byron resident Jeff Noall, who with his wife, Jenny, is sponsoring the circus as J&J Promotions. Anyone can come watch as a huge tent measuring 150-by-200 feet is raised with two other smaller versions on the former football field at what used to be the Byron school on Main Street beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Additionally, a pumper from the Big Horn County Fire District 1 in Lovell is scheduled to be on scene at 12:30 p.m. to wash the circus elephants. Noall said that there are at least three of the beasts and that it “should be a lot of fun for folks to come check it out.” It’s possible that Alan Bair of the Byron Town Council will lead the initial parade to start the show by riding one of the pachyderms, but that is not definite.
Advance sales of circus tickets offer a discount and information on them and other coming events is offered at byronwyevents.com, Noall said. Tickets for Sunday are available in Byron at the Byron Bar or the Noall home at 47 S. Center St. In Lovell, admission slips can be obtained at The Ink Spot and Midway Auto; in Powell at the Powell Chamber of Commerce office and IGA grocery store; and in Cody at Midway Auto and Discount Sports.
Noall originally moved to Byron from Utah some 18 months ago to serve as site manager for Georgia resident John Campos, who purchased the former school from the Town of Byron. His family joined him around a year ago. Since his arrival, Noall has worked with a number of residents and the Byron Recreation Department headed by Jeanie Petrich to offer various events and services for the community at the site.
“My wife and I started J&J about a month ago,” he said, “as I was tired of nothing going on around here. It just seems like a good idea to bring more events to our sleepy little town.” He noted that after organizing a haunted house attraction for Halloween last year and getting a good response, he decided that promoting events in what is now the town recreation center would be a good idea.
He and his wife already have presented some Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-for-view shows using the 32-foot-wide screen in the former school’s auditorium. Another UFC event is set for June 15. On June 22 a live “Byron Battle” featuring modern-day gladiators using mixed martial arts will be held. The day before the battle there will be a competition at the rec center with the audience able to help choose two women who will carry bout number cards around the ring the next day.
A spectacle on June 28 will feature WWF Championship Wrestling of the Rockies. And another UFC event is on the calendar for July 6.
Also in July, Noall is planning a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. In August he hopes to stage a demolition derby and again is anticipating another Halloween haunted house in October.
The annual Byron Days spectacular is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 12-13. The coordinator is Jen Hessenthaler. Attractions on Friday will include a kick-off Zumba party, a kick-off barbecue, a family carnival at the town park and a family movie at the rec center.
The third planning meeting for Byron Days will be held Thursday, May 30, beginning at 8:30 p.m. in the town hall board room off the council chamber. “More exciting events will be planned,” said Hessenthaler.
Major events for Byron Days on Saturday will include a fun run, a parade and Lunch in the Park by the Byron Lions Club. There will be a vintage car and bike show and a volleyball tourney with waterslides and park playground activities including horseshoe-tossing contests. An alumni dinner is planned with food by Cowboys and Cooks Catering followed by music and dancing in the park. Helicopter rides will be available.
Various food and gift vendors will be set up Friday and Saturday at the park. The annual festivities will conclude with the ever-popular and well-attended free fireworks show Saturday. It will begin around 10:30 or as soon as it’s dark enough.
BY BOB RODRIGUEZ