ROCK SPRINGS — The Sweetwater County Fair, also known as Wyoming’s Big Show, will have beer vendors who have undergone more intensive training this year.
The Sweetwater Events Complex will have volunteers doing the banding who have gone through the state of Wyoming’s TIPS program.
TIPS is a registered trademark for Certified Alcohol Training and is a national and international program.
“We want to be sure that all of those folks (serving beer) are properly trained,” Events Complex Executive Director Larry Lloyd told the Fair Board on Tuesday evening.
Anyone who looks under the age of 30 will be requested to provide identification prior to being served alcohol.
Common sense should still prevail, Lloyd added. “We don’t want to be overbearing on this and ID some guy who’s on a ventilator,” he said.
The more formalized training for beer servers is designed to prevent underage alcohol drinking and overindulgence, and includes training on how to recognize minors and fake or altered identifications.
The training also includes recognizing when a patron has had one too many and should not be served additional drinks.
Under TIPS® training, the following identification forms are acceptable as proof of age:
- any state driver’s license, including a license from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada or Mexico,
- a Green Card,
- a military identification card,
- a passport,
- a Wyoming identification card, OR
- a tribal identification card of either the Eastern Shoshone or Northern Arapaho.
In Wyoming, the legal drinking age is 21, which extends to meaning that a server must be age 21 to pour or serve alcohol. A beer server can be between ages 18-21 in dining areas only.
TIPS ® Certification is valid for three years. Within Wyoming, the training program is already mandatory within Campbell County and the cities of Gillette, Douglas, Laramie, Evanston, Torrington and Rawlins.
Scanners will be used as part of the identification process, but personal data beyond age information will not be collected, Events Complex Marketing & Events Manager Kandi Pendleton said.
Notwithstanding the overarching presence of the National High School Finals Rodeo from July 15-21, Lloyd said that there will still be a Sweetwater County Fair/Wyoming’s Big Show this year.
“We’re going to have one,” Lloyd said. Wyoming’s Big Show is slated for July 29-Aug. 5. The main gates will open at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31.
“The contracts are signed for the fair,” Lloyd said.
Nearly Ready fo National High School Finals Rodeo
Preparations are nearing completion for the 2018 edition of the National High School Finals Rodeo, including improvements to the horse stalls.
“All of the roof panels are on,” Lloyd said, adding the electricity is being installed, with lights and plugins.
Around 5,000 maps of the Events Complex will be distributed, along with a list of vendors, Pendleton said, with each NHSFR participant receiving a map in his/her welcome packet.
Arrangements are in place for ambulance service at the rodeo, and there will again be an entertainment tent for rodeo participants, this year featuring a mechanical bull and 3-on-3 basketball.
There will be evening dances for rodeo contestants. July 18 will be the date when Governor Matt Mead will be in town for the NHSFR.
More Camping Needed?
“Has this thing gotten so big that we will need more camping spaces?” board member Roger Torgersen asked.
“I think the answer to that question is yes,” Lloyd responded.
Prior to Lloyd’s comment, however, Pendleton said that as of Tuesday, there were still 292 motel/hotel rooms and recreational vehicle spaces available.
Office Manager Erica Koshar explained to the board that she tries to average out what each state delegation’s camping needs will be. Campground priority is given to actual rodeo participants and their immediate families.
The National High School Rodeo Association itself does much of the advertising work for the NHSFR, Lloyd said, including billboards.
This year’s NHSFR will feature participants from around the U.S., Canada, Australia and Mexico.