365 Jubilee Days of Planning
Laramie Jubilee Days 2017 has concluded. But those behind the Wyoming celebration have little time to celebrate a successful event. Planning for next year will soon begin.
Zoe Curtright, vice chair of the Laramie Jubilee Days Board of Directors, says preparation for Jubilee Days begins a year in advance.
Curtright said the board holds a SWOT - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats- meeting the week following Jubilee Days.
“We talk about the event and all of the things that we can do better, that might’ve happened, all the things that went really well, any possibilities we have to make it better,” Curtright says. “It’s kind of our wrap-up meeting.”
Curtright says preparations for next year begin nearly a year in advance.
“We will have our first meeting next month to start for next year,” she says. “It takes us a year to plan for next year.”
That’s because planning the annual celebration of Wyoming takes a lot of work and, Curtright says, most is done by volunteers who have to balance Jubilee Day planning with other responsibilities.
“Everybody is entirely volunteer here,” she says. “Some boards aren’t but this one is.”
Curtright says the board takes care of everything from PRCA Rodeo forms and permits, to selecting new rodeo royalty to getting permits with the city for street closures as well as food and vendor permits.
“It’s every little thing, down to the tents,” Curtright said. “Updating all the contracts or the vendor applications, everything we put on our website . . . it’s a lot of work- even if you don’t have an all day job.”
Getting sponsorship is also a big part of the preparations. The board has to make sure to get all the sponsorship in order to fund the festivities.
”It’s a lot of money to put Laramie Jubilee Days on. We need those sponsors, we couldn’t do it without them,” Curtright said. “Laramie is very generous.”
Curtright says for the most part, Jubilee Days brings in a good deal of business for Laramie businesses, especially for local hotels. Curtright says the Jubilee Days Board works with the Albany County and the Wyoming Tourism board to bring people to Laramie for the event.
Curtright says this year was a good year particularly for the local hotels, due to actor Robert Fuller being brought to Laramie by Visit Laramie.
“I think it does bring a lot of business in and that is also our goal, to help Laramie in that way,” she said.
Curtright acknowledges that some other businesses don’t do as well during Jubilee Days.
“I know that when we close those streets downtown for two and a half days, it does impact the downtown stores a little bit,” she said. “Because there is no parking down there and there’s a lot going on in the street so they may not get as much foot traffic.”
Curtright says the board’s hope is that those people taking in the downtown during the event will be reminded of all the stores in the area and return to them once Jubilee Days has concluded.
“I think overall though, it helps Laramie, by bringing people in to join the celebration,” she said.
Curtright encourages anyone with suggestions to contact the board via their website, as well as anyone who wants to become a volunteer for Jubilee Days.
“We want to hear from you, good or bad,” Curtright says.