Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Demo derby, sugar cookie contest added to Harvest Festival fun


September 12, 2019

WORLAND — After three years under the auspices of the Worland business group FridayFest Merchants Harvest Fest has been revamped as Harvest Festival, sponsored and organized by the Worland-Ten Sleep Chamber of Commerce in its fourth year.

The 2019 Worland Harvest Festival will be this Saturday with events downtown, Kiwanis Park and at the Wyoming Sugar factory.

According to Chamber Marketing Director and board member Steve Radabaugh, “We will have food and craft vendors downtown. There will be a barbecue at Wyoming Sugar, a demolition derby and a cornhole tournament.”

Vendors will be downtown and in Pioneer Square after the city council provided permission to use the park.

Radabaugh said they were coordinating with the farmers market as well. He said the hope is that most of the vendors will be closer together rather than spread out as they have been in the past.

Radabaugh said, “I see the Harvest Festival as being important as it’s just a good way to get the community out and with a variety of activities to enjoy around town before the weather turns.”


What started three years ago as a centennial celebration has turned into an annual Harvest Festival event for Wyoming Sugar in Worland. A free community barbecue will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the factory, with burgers, hot dogs and brats on the menu. The brats are made from a locally-raised 4-H hog, according to Beth Stiver of Wyoming Sugar.

There will also be cotton candy made from Wyoming Sugar sugar.

President and CEO Mike Greear said on the centennial barbecue they had between 400 to 500 people in attendance. Last year, with inclement weather, they still had a “huge turnout” of about 300.

In addition to the barbecue, which will include special guests Governor and First Lady Mark and Jennie Gordon, there will be the annual elementary coloring contest entries on display and the fifth-grade sugar beet decorating contest entries on display.

This year a sugar cookie contest has been added. Entry forms and a 4-pound bag of Wyoming Sugar sugar can be picked up at the guard shack at the factory. Entries must be delivered Saturday between 11 a.m. to noon with judging beginning at 12:30 p.m. Gov. Gordon will be one of the five judges.

Stiver said the contest came about after a request from a Wyoming Sugar customer. She said the customer said the recipe on the back of the 4-pound bags was one of the best. Stiver asked her to prove it and the customer challenged Stiver to hold a contest so she could.

There will be cash and other prizes for three age categories, 12 and under, 13-18 and 19 and older.

The winning coloring and sugar beet classes will receive their choice of a pizza party or root beer float party.

“This event has been good for us to engage in the community; we’re happy to do it,” Greear said.


The annual King’s Carpet One Cornhole Tournament raises funds for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program. The program provides custom-designed smart homes that allow these returning heroes to live more independently, improving the quality of their daily lives.

The tournament, in its third year, has grown each year. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Kiwanis Park in Worland. Play begins at 2 p.m.

Kathy Mercado of King’s Carpet One said teams will compete in pool play and then placed in the bracket. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. Door prizes will be awarded.

Funds generated from team entries, concession sales and auction items go to the foundation. King’s Carpet One generated $3,600 last year, with Carpet One across the nation, raising $135,000.

This year the foundation will be building two homes in Montana and two in Utah.

Mercado said, “We are involved in this charity because it is a huge part of Carpet One’s focus on giving back to our communities.  Carpet One has been supporting this foundation both monetarily and by donating labor in the respective communities where smart homes are being built.  While, we do not have a veteran locally that will be impacted with a smart home, we believe in the cause and want to do our part.”

According to the Tunnels ToTowers website, “The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation builds mortgage-free smart homes for our most catastrophically injured service members. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Smart homes host a myriad of features such as automated doors and lighting, wider halls and doorways, special showers to accommodate wheelchairs, automatic door openers, cabinets, counters, and stove tops that can be raised and lowered, back-up generators, and central heating and air conditioning systems that can be controlled by tablets. These homes enable our most severely injured heroes’ live better, more independent lives.”

The Foundation is named for Brooklyn firefighter Stephen Gerard Siller. According to the website, “On September 11, 2001, Stephen, who was assigned to Brooklyn’s Squad 1, had just finished his shift and was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got word over his scanner of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Upon hearing the news, Stephen called his wife Sally and asked her to tell his brothers he would catch up with them later. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear.

Stephen drove his truck to the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, but it had already been closed for security purposes. Determined to carry out his duty, he strapped 60 pounds of gear to his back, and raced on foot through the tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he gave up his life while saving others.


New this year to the Harvest Festival is a demolition derby organized by longtime derby competitor Joe Maul of Worland. Maul said he had been considering organizing a demolition derby when he was approached by Chamber President Deb Larkins about holding it during the Harvest Festival.

“This is the first one for the Harvest Festival. If it goes well I hope to make it an annual event,” Maul said.

As the organizer, Maul said he will not be competing.

The first heat of the limited weld cars will begin at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds arena.

There will also be a truck class and a herby derby class (smaller cars).

Drivers can register the day of the derby with inspections beginning at 1 p.m.

Entry fee for spectators is $10, which goes toward the cash prizes for the top three winners in each class. Trophies will also be awarded.

Maul said he has a variety of food vendors that will be there to provide concessions.

As a competitor, Maul said he has enjoyed teaching his son about derbies and has enjoyed the friendships he has developed with other drivers.

For those who may not have attended a derby, Maul said, “If you like crashing metal, banging cars and really loud cars, come on out.”


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021