Last ditch effort: DCD moves to June

An overall decline in interest and public turnout in recent years has caused Deer Creek Days organizers to move the event from the first week in August to the third weekend in June. They hope the change will help revitalize the event, as fewer events in eastern Wyoming are taking place at that time.

Mike Moore

Lower attendance, fewer vendors, dwindling interest from business owners and locations for events surrounding Glenrock’s summer celebration Deer Creek Days has been a mounting concern. In its current state, the multi-day event is slipping away from its promising past in recent years.
When the popular Beartrap Summer Festival music event in Casper changed its two-day event to the same weekend as Deer Creek Days, which has traditionally been the first weekend in August, Glenrock’s community event suffered more as it struggled to compete with the successful festival right next door.
The notion of changing the date of Deer Creek Days to another weekend has been tossed around for some time now, but until this past week, organizers failed to take a stand to bring about the change needed to revitalize Deer Creek Days.
Last Wednesday, a group of 13 community members, Deer Creek Days volunteers and chamber of commerce board members came together to open the discussion as to how they can revamp the event. Initially, it was stated a date change couldn’t come until 2020, as advertising had already been submitted for the 2019 event, but attendees urged for the chamber board to consider cutting losses with advertising for this year and make the date change regardless.
Jim Schell, who has operated the rodeo portion of festivities for a number of years, immediately brought up the need to change the date this year to a weekend in June.
“That’s when there is nothing much to do,” Schell said of competing events around the state. “It’s when we should have ours. We will be the big deal in central Wyoming that weekend.”
Schell went on to say Deer Creek Days is losing sponsors and losing those in town that wants to participate.
“We need to do something different,” he said.
Schell, who was obviously upset by the direction Deer Creek Days has taken in recent years, went on to add that it has evolved from something that was “special to something that is sorta crappy.”
Audience members agreed, prompting the hour-long meeting to simply discuss a date change and nothing else.
Ideas of polling the community and business owners on a new date were brought up, but in the end, the event is put on by the chamber and they all agreed plenty of polls have already collected insight and the unanimous answer they’ve received is to move Deer Creek Days to another weekend.
“We can poll to our heart’s content or just pull the trigger,” chamber president Kristy Grant said.
Folks started searching for other competing events taking place in Wyoming during the month of June with their smartphones and eventually settled on the third weekend of the month, June 21-23, as the best option. The crowd unanimously approved the date change, with the crowd clearly excited and energized through verbal cheering. After the audience calmed down a bit, Grant expressed that much more needs to be done in the coming months to make the event a success.
“We just lost two months of planning,” Grant said of the sudden shift to move the event. “Everyone has to be committed. I need four or five people who are going to help us get this done two months earlier, with a date change and make all the improvements and address everyone’s concerns.”
Rather than dive into those concerns and how to make the event stronger overall, they agreed to come back two weeks later for a second meeting to tackle those issues.
As the meeting came to a close, they agreed to meet Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall.


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