Jared Rogerson will perform at Francis Frontier Days in Saturday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at the arena in City Park. (Courtesy of Jared Rogerson.)
Jared Rogerson will perform at Francis Frontier Days in Saturday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 p.m. at the arena in City Park. (Courtesy of Jared Rogerson.)

Francis Frontier Days takes place every Labor Day weekend, and that hasn't changed over the years.

But that doesn't mean there isn't change.

"We started out as just being a hometown thing," Mayor Lee Snelgrove said, "and it's evolved over the years."

He added: "Every year or two years we try to add something."

This year's festival, which begins on Thursday and runs through Monday, will be hosting something new, said Francis Councilman Jeremie Forman, co-chairman of Frontier Days.

A concert.

Jared Rogerson, a Utah native, is a Wyoming-based singer-songwriter who likes to describe his music as "cowboy music from the New West." He will perform a solo acoustic show on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the arena at City Park. Admission is free.

Despite it being the first official music concert at Frontier Days, Rogerson, 39, has been to Frontier Days before.

He has competed in the annual rodeo, he said in a phone conversation from his home in Pinedale, Wyoming, in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains.

"This is coming full circle," Rogerson said with a laugh.

Rogerson grew up in Riverton and graduated from Bingham High School. He went to Weber State University, where he earned a zoology degree. He then went to the University of Nebraska for a master's degree in biology after spending much of his time researching bighorn sheep.

All the time, though, he spent his weekends riding in rodeos, earning money to further his education.


At the same time, he picked up a guitar as a sophomore at Weber State, and Rogerson soon found himself devoting more and more of his life to learning how to play and write songs. Along with the rodeo and education, music was another passion he had cultivated when he was younger, listening to the radio all night to lure him into a peaceful sleep, and then later, as he drove long distances to far-flung rodeos with only the radio to keep him company.

When he started writing songs, he dove into it with a focused intensity.

"I can lose all track of time," he said. "I can come out a week later and not know what day it is."

It wasn't until 2007 that Rogerson turned his full attention toward music. He was injured in a rodeo and still has an L-shaped scar on the inner joint of his riding arm where the biceps tendon was re-attached. Despite the pain and scar, he is "glad it happened Music had been on my mind, and I had kept putting it off. Timing is everything."

Since then, he has released three albums: 2010's "Bad Hay," 2011's "Peace, Love & Horses," and 2013's "Dirt." The album title alone illustrates how he has turned one passion, the rodeo, into his new art. He is a big believer in authenticity when it comes to cowboy music.

"I'm really drawn to words," Rogerson said. "I'm singing songs I can really feel, that I can back it up. It's something you don't see too often in the mainstream. You write what you know."

For more information on Francis Frontier Days, go to http://www.francisutah.org/ .