Jurassic Fest – Passion for the Past

Wyoming Dinosaur Center welcomes you to the inaugural

Featuring Dr. Dean Lomax and WHY Dinosaurs?

This weekend adventure celebrates all your favorite dinosaur classics of the Jurassic, with unique activities and special guests, professional lectures and hands-on experiences you won’t find anywhere else!

  • Create your own fossil cast!
  • Learn to Site Map and preserve all of our dinosaur dig sites!
  • Dig for fossils in premade dig kits!
  • Create computer models of dinosaur bones with 3D scanning and printing!
  • Compete against other dino-fans in Dinosaur Trivia



Dr. Dean Lomax is an internationally recognized, award-winning British paleontologist, author and TV host. He is the author of multiple books, including LOCKED IN TIME, and is a leading authority on ichtyosaurs. He also led the excavation of the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’, one of Britain’s most important paleontological discoveries, which recently made headlines worldwide.

Talk #1 – Friday June 23
Never Stop Following Your Passion – The Adventures of a Dinosaur Hunter

Dinosaur-obsessed kid to world-renowned palaeontologist, discover the inspiring journey of how Dean Lomax followed his childhood dream of becoming a palaeontologist. Born in Doncaster, England, Dean failed science in high school, was told he would never be a palaeontologist and did not have the grades or finances for university. Aged 18, he volunteered at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center where his life changed forever. Today, fifteen years later, Dr. Dean Lomax is a world expert on ‘Sea Dragons’, has discovered multiple new species, written best-selling books, hosted TV shows and led major excavations. This talk will take you from Dean’s dinosaur adventures in ‘Jurassic Britain’ to far-flung icy Patagonia and explore how he’s bringing palaeontology to the public.

Dean’s unconventional career in palaeontology began right here in Thermopolis. His incredible story will no doubt inspire you to follow your passion.

Talk #2 – Saturday June 24
Unearthing the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’ – The UK’s Most Complete Jurassic Giant

In January 2022, news broke of one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history, a 10-metre-long giant ichthyosaur found in Rutland. Dubbed the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’, this remarkable fossil is the largest skeleton of an ichthyosaur, or any prehistoric reptile ever found in the UK. In this fascinating talk, excavation leader and world ichthyosaur expert, Dr. Dean Lomax, will take us on a Jurassic journey and talk about the discovery, excavation, and science behind this exceptional Jurassic giant.


But wait, there’s more!

Afternoon Showings of “WHY DINOSAURS?”

    • A documentary on Paleontology and Dinosaurs from Pinto Productions created by the father and son team of Tony and James Pinto.

    • Purchase a ticket at the High School Auditorium or get a discount when purchased along with admission to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center


Follow father and son Tony & James Pinto on a journey around the world as they interview paleontologists about the latest research, track down the filmmakers behind Jurassic Park, see the world’s largest dinosaur toy collection, dig up real dinosaur bones, and attempt to figure out why everybody loves dinosaurs!


Evening Speaker Series heading with Stan the T. rex, Jimbo the Supersaurus, and several other dinosaur specimens.

One Ticket – Three Amazing Speakers!

    • Each night, meet two engaging speakers who took some of their first steps in paleontology at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center!

    • Conclude with a presentation by our esteemed keynote lecturer, Dr. Dean Lomax!

    • Advanced tickets available now!

    • Same-Day tickets available

Jimmy Waldron MA. Ed – Founder, Dinosaurs Will Always Be Awesome!

Former WDC volunteer Jimmy Waldron operates DWABA, Inc., a non-profit mobile museum that brings real and replica dinosaur fossils to low-income communities. The Orlando-based organization presents unique experiences with heart, accessible engaging science, and a life-sized robot dinosaur named Poe. Jimmy has featured on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, and will share the incredible impact the Wyoming Dinosaur Center creates for paleontrepreneurs!

Evening Speaker Talk: “Childish Things:Dinosaurs are for everyone. In this interactive photo essay, follow four stories of fascinating fossils, and the impactful journeys of the kids who discovered them. Born in the heart of The Wyoming Dinosaur Center, there’s a lot of wonder to be found in childish things.



Dr. Laura Vietti – Museum & Collections Manager University of Wyoming 

Title: From Microbes to Mammoths: It all started with Something Interesting at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center

Dr. Vietti, a Thermopolis native, specializes in taphonomy, particularly the microbial decay of fossil bone, and manages the University of Wyoming Geological Museum and Collections. Her presentation will follow her earliest scientific study, a nationally ranked high school science fair project studying infamous WDC site Something Interesting (SI), through her Ph.D. studying decay of bones in marine environments, and will conclude with her current work at the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Brandon Drake – Adjunct Faculty University of New Mexico

Brandon Lee Drake currently works at the Paleoresearch Institute. He does research in Archaeology, Geochemistry and Paleoclimatology

Evening Speaker Series Talk:  “Thermopolis’ red beds are great dying”  The Permian-Triassic extinction, known as the “Great Dying” saw the extinction of 57% of families of life. The extensiveness of this extinction left the Earth on a long path to recovery. One of the signs of this slow period are the signature red rocks which surround Thermopolis. We will discuss both the enormity of this event, and why the rocks have the characteristic red color not just in Thermopolis, but across the globe.

University of New Mexico


Elaine Howard – Author – Passion in the Bones

Attorney Elaine Howard entered her dinosaur phase in her late 30’s and never looked back. After spending decades battling a negative mindset, Elaine accidentally discovered her interest in dinosaur fossils and, before she knew it, that interest had grown into a passion that ultimately led her to discover the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. At WDC, Elaine was able to get hands-on experience in the field of paleontology and even become certified in fossil prep and field work. She returned to WDC year after year and, in the process, met individuals from all walks of life, from college interns to retired volunteers all connected by a common passion for the prehistoric. Through her years of volunteering with the WDC and sharing what she learned with others, Elaine realized just how MUCH her life had changed her life for the better. Elaine’s experience led her to write the book Passion in the Bones and to also join the Why Dinosaurs? project as an executive producer. She also uses her social media platform to spotlight others around the world who are pursuing their passion for paleontology. Join Elaine at Jurassic Fest as she shares how it’s never too late to follow your passion and make a difference.

Evening Speaker Series Talk: It’s Never Too Late to “Dig” Into Your Passion



If you are a lifelong dinosaur fan, a budding paleontologist, or just someone curious about fossils and the history of our amazing planet, join us for this two-day Special Event to gain hands on experiences in Geology and Paleontology. The memories you’ll create will inspire a lifelong love of science and nature, and will last another 152 million years!

Don’t miss this chance to explore the ancient world, and engage with multiple Paleontologists visiting from all over the world, who have come to meet you and share your Passion for the Past.


Ticket Options

Digging Dinosaurs with Dr. Dean Lomax – Friday & Saturday – 9am to 12pm – $150.00 (limited availability)

Hunting for Dinosaurs at Warm Springs Ranch – Friday & Saturday – 9am to 12pm – $150.00 (limited availability)

WHY DINOSAURS? Movie Screening (90 minutes) – Friday & Saturday – $10.00 per person

Speaker Series Presentations – Friday & Saturday $10.00 per person

Museum Admission + One Event – $20.00 per person

Museum Admission + Two Events – $25.00 per person

Participation Requirements for Morning Special Field Trips:
You should be in good physical health as activities on the Hill can be strenuous. Central Wyoming has a very dry climate, and our dig sites are roughly 4,500 feet above sea level. It is easy to feel the effects of the sun and elevation if you are not used to it. Not to worry though—our staff and interns will be on hand at all times to help and answer any questions that you may have.

We do provide all necessary tools and a 5-gallon watercooler for use by all participants. Everyone is encouraged to dress for the weather and bring such necessities as sunscreen, hats, etc. Everyone is required to provide their own refillable water bottles and closed-toe shoes (tennis shoes or hiking boots) are mandatory. You will not be allowed to participate without the appropriate footwear.

No lodging or food is provided with any of these programs

Wyoming Dinosaur Center Cancellation Policy
If your plans change and you cannot participate, we will refund your registration fees less a $25 cancellation fee provided you cancel 30 days or more prior to your reserved date. No refund will be given for cancellations less than 30 days prior to your reserved date.

Book Event

Digging Dinosaurs with Dr. Dean Lomax
Available Tickets: 2
The Digging Dinosaurs with Dr. Dean Lomax ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Hunting for Dinosaurs
Available Tickets: 25
The Hunting for Dinosaurs ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
WHY DINOSAURS? Movie Screening
Available Tickets: 236
The WHY DINOSAURS? Movie Screening ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Speaker Series Presentation
Available Tickets: 233
The Speaker Series Presentation ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Museum Admission + One Evening Event
Available Tickets: 244
The Museum Admission + One Evening Event ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Museum Admission + Two Evening Events
Available Tickets: 236
The Museum Admission + Two Evening Events ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.