ROCK SPRINGS — Mission at Castle Rock Rehabilitation Center and Villa residents were all smiles as they made their way through this year’s Wyoming’s Big Show.
Like most Sweetwater County residents, Mission residents didn’t attend the fair last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which only made this year’s visit all that more special.
While at the fair today, 15 residents visited with venders, watched shows, listened to music, pet animals at the petting zoo, and of course enjoyed some fair food.
Mission Activities Director Heidi Schuh said the residents have always enjoyed their visits to the fair, but this year it was even more special.
“These guys have been cooped up for 1 1/2 years,” Schuh said.
Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for nursing homes are still really strict. She said they still must wear masks even if they have been fully vaccinated. Masks or not, the residents were still happy to be at the fair. Schuh said having residents involved in fun activities is so important for their mental health and for socialization.
“We’re just excited to be back here and to be able to do fun things,” Schuh said.
SweetwaterNOW caught up with some Mission residents visiting the fair today and asked them what their favorite part of fair is. Here are some of the responses we received.
“The animals of course,” 87-year-old resident Delma Miller said. “All of them are cute. Cute because they are someone else’s.”
“It’s all good,” 94-year-old resident Ernie Blunk said.
“The animals are always interesting and the jewelry,” Margie Peller said while looking at a vender’s table.
“The food. The Greek food,” 83-year-old resident Dorothy Walker said.
Donna Bertagnolli, 90, couldn’t have agreed more with Walker and while she was busy enjoying a corn on the cob, she was already making plans to eat a funnel cake later in the day.
As the residents made their way through the fair, they couldn’t help but smile. Those smiles made have been hidden at times by face masks, but that doesn’t make them any less special.