(South Pass City, Wyo.) – Not since 1868-69 at the height of the gold rush here had so many people trekked to South Pass City as were there this past weekend. With gold the original attractor, the city’s population soared to around 2,000 residents 150 years ago and gave birth to Wyoming’s Women’s Suffrage movement. This year it was a combination of living history demonstrations, a vintage base ball tournament, fireworks and Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band that brought out the crowds. And come they did. The South Pass City State Historic Site drew a one-day record crowd of more than 3,200 folks this past Saturday. On Monday, the final visitor count for the weekend was released and it totaled 4,480 visitors!
The nationally known and award winning Country band from Moorcroft was the biggest attraction, though. “Downtown” South Pass City was flooded with people sitting on hay bales, on benches, on portable chairs and on the ground from the Smith-Sherlock Store and Carissa Saloon on the north across Willow Creek all the way south to the Miners Exchange Saloon and Sweetwater Jail to the Harry Libby House.
The band played for some two and one-half hours until the fireworks show on the ridge above town thrilled the big crowd. In the interim, there was toe tapping, hand clapping, dancing and sing-alongs.
During the day, John Mionczynski entertained visitors at the Miners’ Exchange Saloon with some good old-time sway to the music piano tunes (below):
Photos by Ernie Over
Here is a 40 second clip of what was a nearly 30 minute-long fireworks exhibition by Flying Phoenix Fireworks that reverberated around the canyons at South Pass. Sparks from the show resulted in a few small fires on the hillsides that were quickly extinguished by BLM and Fremont County Fire District Firefighters.
If you need transportation to events like this, consider contacting Limo Find.