This year’s Free Day event at Western Wyoming Community College is scheduled for this Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and the lineup of activities, sessions and guest speakers features something fun and educational for everyone in Sweetwater County, regardless of age or interest!
“In addition to the many great activities for kids and families that Free Day offers, we have added a significant number of ‘grown-up’ sessions this year,” said Christopher Sheid, Free Day Committee chair and coordinator for marketing and communication at Western. “We have cooking sessions, sessions on Rock Springs history, two sessions by Dr. Charlie Love about his adventures and research in the South Pacific, and also a session on foreign travel opportunities through the College. There is also a yoga class, a putting green for the golfers in our community, and a self-defense class for adults as well as children. So we have a lot going on this year that should appeal to everyone in our community, and we’re expecting a great turnout.”
Of course, Free Day is always very popular with families and children, and many of the event’s biggest annual attractions are back, including the BOCES Planetarium, the Mustang Sports Clinics, the Become a Pilot Flight Simulator, the huge Obstacle Course and Velcro Wall in Rushmore Gymnasium, and the popular Mustang Radio Stars activity, in which Mustang Radio morning host Edison Elder and his colleagues interview youngsters live on the air. Also returning after a one-year absence is the very popular Dino Dig, organized by Associate Professor of Anthropology and Geology Dana L. Pertermann, Ph.D., in which youngsters are able to dig through the sand and dirt for fossils and dinosaur eggs and trade them in for prizes.
WWCC Community Education, meanwhile, is offering free self-defense classes for anyone from age 5 to adult, along with a Ballet Class for Kids. The Sweetwater County Library is bringing back its popular Puppet Show, and this year Home Depot has partnered with Western to hold its Make It/Take It activity on campus for Free Day. (Bring your Home Depot aprons if you have them!) Also, Sweetwater County’s Bittersweet Bombshells will host Roller Racing with the Bombshells and their always-popular Chuck-a-Duck contest. Best of all, Free Day once again will serve as the site for Mascot Mayhem, bringing together school and community mascots from across Sweetwater County to compete in the Mascot Dance Competition during the lunch hour.
This year’s cooking sessions include a Dutch Oven Cooking class taught by Community Education instructor Ed Yenne, and two sessions with SODEXO Executive Chef Craig Thompson, who will demonstrate how to make Mussels American. Oil is, of course, an essential cooking ingredient, but “essential oils” can also be used for an array of other purposes, and Green River resident Jan Scott will host two sessions to discuss the various essential oils, what they can be used for, and how.
Anyone interested in current events, meanwhile, is invited to attend two sessions of “We Will Persuade You,” from Western’s nationally ranked Speech and Debate Team, in which team members will demonstrate the art and science of persuasive speaking and argumentation. History buffs will want to attend the two Rock Springs-themed presentations, one by WWCC student BriAnna Logan, “The Quickest Draw in the West: The Media Legacy of Ed Cantrell,” and another by WWCC Lecturer of Math Neil Kourbelas, “Rock Springs Confidential,” in which the former Rock Springs police officer will discuss the impact that the Cantrell case, and the rather colorful reputation of Rock Springs in the 1970s, had on the community and its citizens.
Also part of the lineup this year are two sessions by Western Professor Emeritus Charlie Love, Ph.D., who will give the presentation “South Seas Cannibal Adventures,” in which he will recount his travels to New Guinea and the South Pacific to research modern-day cannibal tribes. (Parental guidance is suggested for this program.) And, for current or aspiring world travelers, WWCC Developmental Studies Specialist and study-abroad trip leader Michelle Schutten will present “Travel the World with WWCC: Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Beyond,” a look at past and upcoming foreign trips that are sponsored by Western and open to community members. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a different country, or a different hemisphere, you can get there with Western, and this session will show you how!
Free lunch will be provided at 12 p.m. in the Atrium, and there will be other attractions and activities throughout the day. The doors open at 8:45 a.m. and the first sessions and activities begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free and open to all.
Western thanks the many organizations, presenters and volunteers who have helped to make Free Day possible this year and every year.