Without a permanent fairgrounds, Casper’s earliest fairs, and rodeos were held in many different places. It’s believed that there were rodeo events hosted in the Garden Creek and Mountain View areas, and in 1914 the first annual County Fair was held … well, somewhere! Sept. 23-25. Even the 3rd floor of the Natrona County High School was used to showcase fair exhibits. The first rodeo was produced by Leo Cramer of Big Timber, MT, and he later formed a partnership with Harry Knight, producing the rodeo in Casper for several years. After a time, Harry Knight was partnered with the legendary Gene Autry, and finally, took over producing rodeo without a partner.
In 1947, the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo finally found a home! Along with the excitement of the rodeo, the fair’s early years offered up shows with acts like Stan Volera on the Sway Pole, The Pribels, Outstanding Circus Clowns (1953) and “Henry’s Liberty Ponies” (1957). Entertainment ranged from cowboy crooners “The Sons of the Pioneers” (1953) to country boy Eddie Arnold (1966) to “The Rajun Cajun” Doug Kershaw in 1975. And every carnival pulled folks in with food, games and thrilling rides with names like Mad Mouse, Super Twister, and Zipper!