[VIDEO] FLASHBACK: How Laramie Celebrated the 1st Jubilee Days!
Over 80 years ago, Laramie celebrated "Equality Jubilee Days." The morning of July 10 dawned sunny with clear blue skies if footage from the celebration is anything to judge by. It was a celebration honoring the Golden Anniversary of Wyoming Statehood, but little did the revelers know that soon this celebration would blossom into "America's Hometown Celebration."
It may surprise you that the first celebration was known as the "Equality Jubilee Days." Technically, the first "Laramie Jubilee Days" occurred the following year, according to the LJD organization. Regardless, the 1940 and 1941 events led to the event we know and love today.
Today's Jubilee Days are marked by parades, PRCA rodeo, the occasional jalapeno eating contest, and plenty more fun. But how did the folks back in 1940 and 1941 celebrate?
Laramie's "Equality Jubilee Days" of 1940
According to Laramie Jubilee Days, the Equality Jubilee Days of 1940 weren't as rodeo-centric as today. The first event lasted two days and included a fiddlers' contest, chariot races, and the traditional parade that has continued since 1940. American Heritage Center footage shows old-school carnival games, cookouts, and theatrical performances at the 1940 event, too. However, the following year's "Laramie Jubilee Days" was a much larger affair.
Laramie Jubilee Days - 1941 Edition
The first official "Laramie Jubilee Days" was a three-day affair. Horses were aplenty, according to the Albany County Historical Society, with horse shows at the University of Wyoming's War Memorial Fieldhouse, horse-drawn carriages in the parades, and (based on the American Heritage Center's film from the celebration) some horse dancing.
The event had expanded, with carnival rides lining Downtown Laramie's streets, more horses, and a larger parade this year. Footage from the Center shows that the 1941 event was quickly on its way to becoming what we know today as Laramie Jubilee Days.
Let's take a trip down memory lane and explore those celebrations captured on film. Check out the original films, courtesy of the American Heritage Society.
1940 Equality Jubilee Days (~5 minutes)
1940 Equality Jubilee Days (~1 minute)
1941 Jubilee Days (~8 minutes)