Explore the Arts Scene in Gillette, WY

Attractions include an art center, planetarium and more.

By Kevin Litwin on Sun, 10/04/2015 - 08:00

Arts and cultural attractions in Gillette and Campbell County are accessible to the public, and range from entertainment options to special attractions.

AVA Community Art Center

With a slogan of “building a better community by enriching lives through art,” AVA (Advocacy for Visual Arts) Community Art Center in Gillette hosts numerous exhibitions each year of painting, sculpture, pottery, photography and other media. Each summer, AVA is home to a Community Art Show where local artists display their work. AVA also schedules a variety of art classes all year aimed toward adults and children.

CCSD Planetarium

Housed in its own building at Sage Valley Junior High School, Campbell County School District Planetarium has been an entertainment staple since 1981. The facility has a 30-foot-diameter ceiling dome for classroom sessions, and the public is invited to view frequent free nighttime laser shows accompanied by rock music. The planetarium is maintained with funds from Campbell County School District No. 1 and donations from community supporters.

Festivals

The Donkey Creek Festival on the lawn at Gillette College has entertained residents each summer since its humble beginnings in 2006. Today the late-June festival features three days of free musical performances by artists from many genres. Attendees can also check out a car and motorcycle show, browse among arts and crafts booths, sample foods from various vendors, and participate in events such as the 5K run/walk and disc golf tournament.

The Gillette Main Street Brewfest brings craft beer, live music and food vendors to the city's downtown area. The event enters its third year in July 2016. 

The Gillette Main Street Ice Fest, held in late February, embraces the cold with several fun activities and events, including a Chowder Challenge, ice-carving competition, free hot chocolate and an appearance by the Abominable Snowman. The festival is sponsored by the Mayor's Art Council, Gillette Brewing Co. and Pizza Carrello.

Gillette's Powder River Symphony gives concerts throughout the year for music enthusiasts and also hosts the annual New Year's Eve Ball.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years. He was previously an editor for a small-town newspaper for 10 years, and is now...