Pig wrestling returns to fair lineup

Barbara Anne Greene

At the Big Horn Fair Board meeting on March 3, the board learned that a contractor reached out about providing pigs for pig wrestling.
Last year pig wrestling was not a part of the fair entertainment. No contractor to run the wrestling and/or provide pigs could be found. Fair Manager Cash Duncan said the cost would be $4,500 for 45 pigs. The date would be August 1.
Board member Kelli Mercer asked Duncan if he had spoken to the county maintenance supervisor Jeremy Pouska because of an issue that arose at pig wrestling two years ago.  Duncan replied that he had already talked to Pouska.
“The reason he put a kibosh to it is because Masey didn’t get a hold of a vac truck, so they had to do it with all their equipment,” Duncan said. “He wasn’t told that he had to clean it up until that night. He has to stage his guys because they don’t get paid overtime, either.”
Board chair Luke Foss asked about what, if any, ideas had already been discussed for Thursday night of the fair. Duncan replied there had been discussion about Ag Olympics, Stock Dog Trials, Family Fun Night and a ranch rodeo. He would like to see the lineup set up this way: Thursday Pig Wrestling, Friday Ranch Rodeo and Saturday Circuit Rodeo. The board voted to approve this lineup later in the meeting.
Mercer again expressed concern about the Pouska and county maintenance crew’s role in pig wrestling. Duncan replied, “Jeremy is on board.”
The contractor would only bring the pigs. This means the county and fair staff would have to find a wrestling pen, a vac truck, bentonite donation, auctioneer, someone to sing the National Anthem and someone to handle the Calcutta and ticket booth.
Duncan is finishing up the drawings and will then get quotes. The drawings will include the barn, revamp of the wash bays, a canopy cover for the scale and panels for the alleyway.
The board had the first reading of two changes to the bylaws. One change is to officially move the monthly meeting to the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m.
The second change moved the duty of the acting chair from the secretary to the treasurer. The current bylaws state that in the absence of the chair, the secretary is the acting chair.
The board voted to keep the officers the same. Foss is chairman, Mercer treasurer and Tracy Haley secretary.
There was some discussion about the queen contest. Participation has been declining. Duncan said he hadn’t found much information about how to run it in the files.
The board and UW Extension Educator Gretty Gasvoda provided names to Duncan to reach out to for help. Anyone that wants to put the contest on should call the fair. Concern was expressed that if there are not enough contestants, there may not be a contest.
• Basin First Baptist lead pastor Aaron Gesch asked if the church could hold a Sunday worship service the last day of the fair. The first Sunday of each month, the church hosts a potluck at church. For the worship service at the fairgrounds, the attendees could purchase from food trucks (if they are still there), or the church could host a free barbecue. Gesch said they would prefer to have the food trucks. Duncan pointed out that by Sunday most of the trucks have moved behind the grandstands.
• Karl Johnson, Park County fair employee, spoke about the new ShoWorks and possible changes to the fair book regarding classes, divisions and the like. ShoWorks is a software used for entries for the fair.
• The first concrete shavings bunk is complete.
• The horse/livestock sheds at the fairgrounds are for sale.
• Duncan read a text from Trina Purcell of the Lovell Rodeo Club. The text addressed concerns about the fairground’s rodeo arena, chutes and pens needing work. The Big Horn Rodeo Circuit Finals will be in Basin in September. Duncan said there was already a plan in place to do repairs and changes.
• An agreement for use of the fairgrounds by Renegade Riders has been signed.
• A fair book cover contest will be held again this year.
• White Ink was chosen to build the fair book.