Holiday on the Homestead will not be held this year due to concerns around COVID-19
CASPER, Wyo. – The Bureau of Land Management has opted to not hold the yearly Holiday on the Homestead event at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC), due to safety concerns caused by the Coronavirus.
The local Casper event, which is traditionally held on the second weekend of December, is a historically well attended event with more than 1,000 people attending in 2019, however, because of the continuing COVID concerns across the state, the event will not happen as planned this year but anticipates returning in 2021.
"We are saddened to announce that we will not be holding this cherished annual event," said Katy Kuhnel, acting NHTIC director. "However, the safety of the public is a paramount concern for us, and we could not in good conscience hold a large public event where we could not totally ensure the safety of those attending. With that said, we are still open to the public and will be having some unique exhibits and opportunities and encourage the public to come visit us."
The NHTIC staff and volunteers have put together "take-home" craft kits for kids and adults interested in creating a traditional Pioneer rag doll, corn husk doll, or a fun trail-themed family board game. Craft kits will be available at the NHTIC Information Desk from November 17 until December 12. Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Central Wyoming Model Railroad Association (CWMRA) will host a model train show at the NHTIC in December. Visitors are invited to view model trains that represent coal-powered trains and diesel locomotives. Trains played a vital role in the settlement of the American West, as powerful locomotives gradually replaced covered wagons. Volunteers will be on-site to provide interpretive presentations about the train exhibits most weekends in December.
Additionally, the National Historic Trails Center Foundation is encouraging visitors in the month of December to bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Wyoming Food for Thought Project, a local non-profit. Needed items include peanut butter, fruit cups, cereal boxes, ramen noodles, and granola bars. Wyoming Food for Thought Project is an independently run organization founded on the idea that a local solution to hunger is possible.
The BLM encourages all who visit the trail center to be safety minded by wearing a face mask and ensuring social distancing from other attending groups of people. As a reminder, if you are feeling unwell, or exhibiting signs of sickness, we ask that you do not visit until you are feeling better.
For more information about the NHTIC, please visit: https://www.blm.gov/learn/interpretive-centers/national-historic-trails-interpretive-center
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.