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Wild West Winter Carnival launches busiest part of event schedule

Jan 21, 2014 - From staff reports

With a few introductory events already in the books, the Wild West Winter Carnival gears up for the busiest part of its schedule this week and continuing into February. The annual parade and winter car/bike show have taken place, as has casino night. Now the full slate of traditional WWWC activities is ready to roll.

First up is the medallion treasure hunt, sponsored by The Ranger (see related story). The first of a possible 10 clues guiding searchers to the whereabouts of the hidden medallion appears on page 12 in The Ranger. The finder wins $250 from The Ranger and another $250 from the WWWC if the finder also owns a registered booster button.

The button reduces the participation cost for other WWWC events. They cost $5 and can be purchased at the Wind River Hotel and Casino and the Riverton Chamber of Commerce.

Other events coming up:

- The ice fishing derby runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Boysen Reservoir. Despite milder temperatures recently, ice conditions at the reservoir will be good. A wide variety of prizes is available to anglers in various size and age categories. The fishing derby has the largest number of community sponsors, with 14 participating businesses coordinating with Wild West Winter Carnival organizers to stage the derby, which is one of Wyoming's biggest annual ice fishing events.

- The motorcycle poker run runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Boysen Shoreline Road at Boysen State Park.

Riders follow a prescribed route from business to business, drawing a playing card at each stop. The rider with the best poker hand at the end of the route list is the winner.

- The WWWC cowboy poetry gathering and silent auction kicks off the following weekend of activity. It is set for 6 p.m. Jan 31 in the Little Theater at Central Wyoming College. Admission is reduced to $5 for all booster button owners.

On Feb. 1.

- The schedule begins with tethered balloon rides at Riverton City Park, featuring the familiar Riverton Cloud Kisser balloon.

- The Main Street ice sculpting contest, an original carnival event that still is going strong, begins at 9 a.m. on East Main Street in downtown Riverton. Blocks of ice will be set up on the sidewalk over several blocks downtown. Interested sculptors and sculpting teams may simply choose a block and begin. Sculpting starts at 9 a.m. and should be completed by noon for judging. The sculptures will remain in place as long as cold weather permits.

- The Snowman Stampede 5K Run or Walk begins at 10 a.m. Feb. 1. Entry fee is $15 with the booster button. Runners and walkers should assemble at Wolverine track at Riverton High School.

- Two family-oriented events take place Feb. 1 at Riverton City Park. The hole-in-one golf contest starts at 11 a.m. For a small fee, contestants can get several shots at a target, with prizes awarded to the ball landing closest. At 1 p.m. in the park, the kids coin grab takes place. Coins and other prizes are distributed in a pile of hay, and young treasure hunters race the clock trying to find them.

- One of Riverton's big winter social events of the season begins at 4 p.m. Feb. 1, at St. Margaret's School gymnasium. The Wild West Winter Carnival crab crack feeds hundreds of diners each year. In conjunction with the crab crack is the carnival's royalty coronation and silent auction. Those festivities begin at 5 p.m., also at St. Margaret's.

Feb.7-9

- The quick draw art contest begins at 6 p.m. and the auction begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Riverton Elks Club downtown.

- Opening at noon Feb. 8 is the Wyoming Star Quilters Guild quilt fest in the Fremont Center at the Fremont County Fairgrounds. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Feb. 8 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 9.

- The carnival snowflake ball gala begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at Bar 10 in downtown Riverton. Admission is free with a booster button.

- The final event on this year's carnival schedule is the RC car races. Two days of racing are scheduled at the Wind River Hotel and Casino. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.

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