There is a great diversity of culture in the Laramie Valley. Our first major cultural experience was a fourth of July celebration in the town of Rock River. The town is very small, with a population of about 250 people, but it seemed that most of them attended the celebration. It was a simple setup, with some of the locals providing hot dogs and hamburgers as well as jugs of fruit punch and iced tea. Water was also available from a spigot in the grass part the event took place in. We spent the afternoon and evening having a wonderful time with the townsfolk, at various points playing volleyball, basketball, and hacky sack. The night concluded with a surprisingly sophisticated fireworks display from the parking lot next to the park that lasted about 10 minutes, which was absolutely worth staying late for.
The event gave me an appreciation for small town life. Coming from Pittsburgh, I am used to being mostly anonymous when out in public because there are so many people, but Rock River is a tight knit community where everyone knows everyone. The few stores in town were closed for the day, but it is clear there was not much variety in entertainment available. People seemed content with their simpler life, however. There was a great sense of togetherness among the residents, and it was clear that everyone was appreciative of what they had. I came away from the day with a great respect for the people of the Laramie Valley.