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Casper, Wyoming, May 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Every summer, hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls from around the country come to Casper, Wyoming to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) as they try their hand at becoming rodeo champions. Slated for June 9 – 15, 2019, CNFR and Casper will welcome competitors from colleges and universities from 38 states and two Canadian provinces.
“Wyoming is rodeo,” said Brook Kaufman, CEO of Visit Casper. “Each year, we get to host the best college athletes in the sport of rodeo, and we love that this event takes place right here in the Cowboy State.”
CNFR will have collegiate rodeo athletes competing in events that include bareback riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, goat tying, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding, with the largest number of athletes coming from Texas, California, South Dakota, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Montana
And while rodeo is the main event at CNFR, there are plenty of ways to experience the best of the West in Casper.
Pre-CNFR festivities include a pancake breakfast at City Park on Saturday, June 8, as well as the weekend-long event, Nic Fest. Slated for June 7 – 9, Nic Fest transforms downtown into a hub of arts and culture, with live music, vendors, family activities and food trucks. Rodeo festivities officially begin on Sunday and include matinee and evening performances, with daytime slack and additional evening performances held throughout the week.
But it’s not all just about rodeo.
Additional CNFR festivities include a softball tournament, sporting clay shoot, golf tournament, cowboy church service and Cinch style show, as well as three live music performances throughout CNFR week.
An up-and-comer in the country music scene—and a native of Wyoming—singer-songwriter Ian Munsick will start the week of free musical performances with an acoustic show at Casper’s newest brewery, Gruner Brothers on Wednesday, June 12. Munsick, and his song “Horses are Faster” took home the award for best song at the Third Annual Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards in Colorado earlier this year.
“We’re pumped to be adding live, danceable country music to this year’s offerings,” said Kaufman. “Plus, the June 12 show will include two of the things locals and visitors love the most—live music and beer.”
After the CNFR performance on Friday night, country singer Jake Mauer will play an outdoor concert at the Casper Events Center, while Saturday festivities include the Downtown Hoedown, a new event at David Street Station that includes more music from Lacy Nelson and the Jake Mauer Band, as well as mechanical bull riding, food trucks and more.
“Ian Munsick and Jake Mauer are two of the best country musicians in the business and we’re looking forward to having them enrich all the other things there are to see and do in Casper during CNFR week,” added Kaufman.
Additional events during the week of CNFR include: Food Truck Friday at Platte River Trails on Friday, June 15 from Noon - 8 p.m.; and a blacksmith demonstration at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
With competitors, their families and travelers coming to and through Casper for CNFR, there are plenty of ways to kick up your heels in central Wyoming.
A downtown staple, Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters has 55,000 square feet that is full of all things Western, including custom-shaped hats, 10,000 pairs of cowboy boots and plenty of clothing options to get you decked out for the nightly CNFR performances. Plus, they’re celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.
The North Platte River also runs through the heart of Casper and offers some of the best fly-fishing in the country. And with up to 5,000 fish per mile, it’s a great location to cast a line, whether you’re a novice or expert fishermen. An added bonus: Casper is home to experienced fly shops and guides to take you on the river.
Casper also sits on the convergence of the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express trails, with hundreds of thousands of pioneers and early settlers passing through on their way West. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center sits less than a quarter mile away from the Casper Events Center, where CNFR is held, and introduces visitors to the incredible history of the area through immersive exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities. Plus, entry is free.
Additional boot-stomping highlights include hiking on Casper Mountain, walking along the Platte River Trails and visiting the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College to see Dee—a giant Columbian wooly mammoth—and abundant dinosaur fossils, including the skeleton of a T-rex that was found nearby.
Casper’s food and drink scene, along with its 192 restaurants, offers plenty of ways to taste Wyoming, from locally raised beef to hand-tossed pizza and mouthwatering barbeque. Take advantage of specials throughout CNFR, including daily happy hour at The Branding Iron in downtown from 2-6 p.m.
Plan your trip to this year’s CFNR and Casper, Wyoming, at www.VisitCasper.com.
About Visit Casper
Visit Casper is the official destination management organization for Natrona County and is dedicated to enhancing the county’s economic base through tourism. Casper is known for world-class fly-fishing on the North Platte River; is the annual host for the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR); and has been named one of the top mountain towns in the country by Men’s Journal. More information can be found at www.VisitCasper.com.
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Tia Troy Visit Casper 406-529-8314 firstname.lastname@example.org