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Montana Fair returns in full force after smaller event in 2020
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Montana Fair returns in full force after smaller event in 2020

Montana Fair

The Montana Fair features the carnival and more at MetraPark in Billings, Mont.

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Montana Fair returns this summer from Friday, Aug. 13 through Saturday, Aug. 21, offering fairgoers no shortage of week-long entertainment.

With ag shows, 4-H/FFA live animal exhibits, PRCA rodeos, and contests and concerts for the whole family, this year’s Montana Fair is a can’t-miss event.

In its 105th year, some 227,000 farmers, ranchers, and rural and city families are expected to visit the Montana Fair this year.

During COVID in 2020, FFA and 4-H shows and other events were cancelled or closed to the public at the Montana Fair. The smaller fair, including the carnival, only saw a third of its normal attendance, but fair personnel are planning for a return to a big fair this summer.

“Last year, we couldn’t have as big of a fair, but we are very excited about the Montana Fair this year – we’re looking forward to getting back up to speed,” said Anne Gauer, communications specialist for the fair.

Gauer cautioned they would still have COVID precautions.

“We’ll still have COVID precautions, such as hand washing stations, but we are still planning to have all the regular events,” she said.

Events that formerly were held at the grandstands, in particular the concerts and rodeos, will be held at different locations. In the future, there will be an all-new Montana Fair fairgrounds to look forward to. The county and MetraPark have been working on a design overhaul so the grandstands have been taken down and won’t be available for this year’s fair.

“To accommodate the renovations, they have removed the grandstands, so the rodeo and concerts will be held in the First Interstate Arena,” Gauer said.

Gates open

Gates open to the fair on Friday, Aug. 13, from 4 p.m. to midnight. For the rest of the fair, Aug. 14-21, gates will open at noon, with the Thomas Carnival featuring rides and games on the Midway until midnight.

Admission to the Montana Fair is $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and those 65 and older, and free for kids ages 5 and younger.

On Service to America Day, Aug. 20, there will be free gate admission for veterans and first responders.

The Montana Fair has always been known for its agricultural displays, grain contests, All Breeds Cattle Shows, FFA and 4-H shows, the Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA rodeo, motocross action, fun Midway events, concerts, music, dancing and comedy shows. This year, all those events will be back.

Yellowstone DigIt Days

This year’s Montana Fair features some special events, including Yellowstone DigIt Days on Aug. 19-20.

“It is a fun family-centered event that brings industry professionals in to talk about safety with families. There will be construction equipment of all kinds for kids to play around, climb over, operate and get pictures with,” she said. “Kids will be able to drive big tractors that they see their dads driving on the farm.”

From backhoes, motor graders, and dump trucks to excavators and tractors, kids can play in the dirt and get free T-shirts and prizes while learning safety.

Concerts

This year, the main concerts include: Kesha, Aug. 13; Cody Johnson, Aug. 14; and the Eli Young Band, Aug. 15. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will be held this year in the First Interstate Arena.

Recently announced, Betty Who will open for Kesha. Anna Vaus will open for Cody Johnson, and Muscadine Bloodline will open for the Eli Young Band.

PRCA Rodeo action

The Yellowstone River Roundup (YRR) PRCA Rodeo event runs Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. in the First Interstate Arena.

The rodeo has grown to include some of the best rodeo cowboys in the nation today. Many of the top 10 cowboys in the nation will be at the YRR.

“Montana Fair features the three-day Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA Rodeo from Thursday through Saturday, and the rodeos have always been some of the best-attended events at the fair,” Gauer said.

Motocross flying action

Motocross action “Octane Addictions Big Air Bash” will be held on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., in the First Interstate Arena. The show features flying stunts on motorcycles.

Professional motocross athletes will punch out lap after lap of serious 30-foot air jumps, whoop sections, double and triple jumps, 100-foot long jumps, rhythm sections, roller sections and a challenging array of other technical skills.

Entertainment on the Midway

Free entertainment, including singing, dancing, comedy shows and music will go on throughout the day down the Midway and at the Community Stage.

“We have some fun planned for families this year on the Midway, with some new acts,” she said.

The Community Stage showcases local and regional talent at the fair. Acts take center stage in half-hour time slots. Music, magic, singing, dancing and comedy are just a few of the talents on the Community Stage.

Some of the entertainment this year includes: Professor Smart’s Science Show, the Junebugs, Thistle & Lace, magician Louie Foxx, Sir Mimealot, Chicken Rider, Polly and Pickled Pete and Roberto the Magnificent.

As always, there will be a free Kid’s World exhibit held, with free games, activities, and a petting zoo for small children.

FFA and 4-H exhibits

Visitors can walk through the long barns filled with all kinds of 4-H projects and FFA shows, including live animal shows and special exhibits.

The Montana Fair is the county fair for the Yellowstone County 4-H and FFA members, and it is also open to anyone in the state to participate.

4-H/FFA and open class adults and kids show all kinds of animals at the Montana Fair, including: alpacas, llamas, horses, cattle, goats, sheep, as well as pigs, pocket pets, and more.

“The Montana Fair showcases FFA and 4-H live animal shows and exhibits indoors. Youth work on grooming and training their animals for the fair and their static exhibits all year long, and everyone is invited to come and see all the work they have done,” she said.

At the fair, there will be ribbons and awards for 4-H/FFA and open class, as well as money for the grand champions. The non-animal exhibits win ribbons and plaques, as well.

While the fair officially opens on Aug. 13, there are a few 4-H/FFA shows opening earlier. On Aug. 12, there will be the 4-H/FFA Horse Show in the Superbarn at 4 p.m., and the 4-H/FFA Cavy Showmanship and Cavy Show at 5 p.m. in the Expo Center.

On Saturdays after the shows, the Junior Livestock Sale will be held for winning animals and exhibitors.

Open shows for all ages

Adults and kids can also participate in the open jackpot sheep show, open cattle and market steers, open jackpot goat show, swine show and the open horse show.

In the Ag Building and throughout the fair, agricultural businesses, from seed companies to chemical sales to farm and ranch equipment, will have displays.

Producers enter hay, crops

Montana and Wyoming producers have a chance to enter their crops, including forages, into the Open Crops Division.

Some of the crops and forages include: oats, malting barley, different classes of wheat, peas, safflower, speltz, edible beans, sugarbeets, sunflower, triticale, rye and corn.

Hay producers often bring their baled alfalfa and grass hay for the forage hay entries, and their corn or sudangrass silage for the silage entries.

The best event of the summer will be at the Montana Fair fairgrounds this year – with the colorful sights of the carnival and games, and the wonderful smells of delicious specialty foods and baked goodies.

The feel of agriculture is everywhere at the fair – from the barns filled with live animals to the farm and ranch businesses that come from near and far, to the sugarbeets and other crop and hay displays at the fair.

Montana Fair history

1916 was the start of something spectacular – it was the year of the first Midland Empire Fair.

The fair promised to have the finest agricultural, livestock, and industrial exhibits ever seen – and it did. The Midland Empire Fair brought together communities from all over Montana and northern Wyoming.

This allowed people to show off their projects they had been working on all year in hopes of winning a blue ribbon and some recognition.

With great excitement for this new endeavor, the fair board made special arrangements with the Northern Pacific Railroad to run a train from the depot to the fairgrounds. This arrangement gave special rates for riders of the train to travel back and forth from the fair to home.

The Midland Empire Fair brought in the finest livestock in the region and people traveled from all over. Soon, Montana started becoming known as a state in which purebred livestock was a specialty.

Not only were there livestock exhibits, but in the early years, there were horseracing and rodeos. The annual horserace drew in thousands and the rodeo brought in cowboys from all over the nation.

After having the name Midland Empire Fair for nearly 60 years, the fair board decided it was time for a name change and rebranded the fair as the Yellowstone Exhibition.

The Yellowstone Exhibition lasted about for about 14 years until transitioning to the Montana Fair that remains today at MetraPark.

Although the name has changed, the Montana Fair continues to celebrate agriculture and education and has become a must-attend event to plan for.

For more information, visit the Montana Fair website at http://www.montanafair.com/schedules/.

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Montana Fair returns this summer from Friday, Aug. 13 through Saturday, Aug. 21, offering fairgoers no shortage of week-long entertainment. With ag shows, 4-H/FFA live animal exhibits, PRCA rodeos, and contests and concerts for the whole family, this year’s Montana Fair is a can’t-miss event.

In its 105th year, some 227,000 farmers, ranchers, and rural and city families are expected to visit the Montana Fair this year.

During COVID in 2020, FFA and 4-H shows and other events were cancelled or closed to the public at the Montana Fair. The smaller fair, including the carnival, only saw a third of its normal attendance, but fair personnel are planning for a return to a big fair this summer.

“Last year, we couldn’t have as big of a fair, but we are very excited about the Montana Fair this year – we’re looking forward to getting back up to speed,” said Anne Gauer, communications specialist for the fair.

Gauer cautioned they would still have COVID precautions.

“We’ll still have COVID precautions, such as hand washing stations, but we are still planning to have all the regular events,” she said.

Events that formerly were held at the grandstands, in particular the concerts and rodeos, will be held at different locations. In the future, there will be an all-new Montana Fair fairgrounds to look forward to. The county and MetraPark have been working on a design overhaul so the grandstands have been taken down and won’t be available for this year’s fair.

“To accommodate the renovations, they have removed the grandstands, so the rodeo and concerts will be held in the First Interstate Arena,” Gauer said.

Gates open

Gates open to the fair on Friday, Aug. 13, from 4 p.m. to midnight. For the rest of the fair, Aug. 14-21, gates will open at noon, with the Thomas Carnival featuring rides and games on the Midway until midnight.

Admission to the Montana Fair is $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and those 65 and older, and free for kids ages 5 and younger.

On Service to America Day, Aug. 20, there will be free gate admission for veterans and first responders.

The Montana Fair has always been known for its agricultural displays, grain contests, All Breeds Cattle Shows, FFA and 4-H shows, the Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA rodeo, motocross action, fun Midway events, concerts, music, dancing and comedy shows. This year, all those events will be back.

Yellowstone DigIt Days

This year’s Montana Fair features some special events, including Yellowstone DigIt Days on Aug. 19-20.

“It is a fun family-centered event that brings industry professionals in to talk about safety with families. There will be construction equipment of all kinds for kids to play around, climb over, operate and get pictures with,” she said. “Kids will be able to drive big tractors that they see their dads driving on the farm.”

From backhoes, motor graders, and dump trucks to excavators and tractors, kids can play in the dirt and get free T-shirts and prizes while learning safety.

Concerts

This year, the main concerts include: Kesha, Aug. 13; Cody Johnson, Aug. 14; and the Eli Young Band, Aug. 15. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and will be held this year in the First Interstate Arena.

Recently announced, Betty Who will open for Kesha. Anna Vaus will open for Cody Johnson, and Muscadine Bloodline will open for the Eli Young Band.

PRCA Rodeo action

The Yellowstone River Roundup (YRR) PRCA Rodeo event runs Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. in the First Interstate Arena.

The rodeo has grown to include some of the best rodeo cowboys in the nation today. Many of the top 10 cowboys in the nation will be at the YRR.

“Montana Fair features the three-day Yellowstone River Roundup PRCA Rodeo from Thursday through Saturday, and the rodeos have always been some of the best-attended events at the fair,” Gauer said.

Motocross flying action

Motocross action “Octane Addictions Big Air Bash” will be held on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., in the First Interstate Arena. The show features flying stunts on motorcycles.

Professional motocross athletes will punch out lap after lap of serious 30-foot air jumps, whoop sections, double and triple jumps, 100-foot long jumps, rhythm sections, roller sections and a challenging array of other technical skills.

Entertainment on the Midway

Free entertainment, including singing, dancing, comedy shows and music will go on throughout the day down the Midway and at the Community Stage.

“We have some fun planned for families this year on the Midway, with some new acts,” she said.

The Community Stage showcases local and regional talent at the fair. Acts take center stage in half-hour time slots. Music, magic, singing, dancing and comedy are just a few of the talents on the Community Stage.

Some of the entertainment this year includes: Professor Smart’s Science Show, the Junebugs, Thistle & Lace, magician Louie Foxx, Sir Mimealot, Chicken Rider, Polly and Pickled Pete and Roberto the Magnificent.

As always, there will be a free Kid’s World exhibit held, with free games, activities, and a petting zoo for small children.

FFA and 4-H exhibits

Visitors can walk through the long barns filled with all kinds of 4-H projects and FFA shows, including live animal shows and special exhibits.

The Montana Fair is the county fair for the Yellowstone County 4-H and FFA members, and it is also open to anyone in the state to participate.

4-H/FFA and open class adults and kids show all kinds of animals at the Montana Fair, including: alpacas, llamas, horses, cattle, goats, sheep, as well as pigs, pocket pets, and more.

“The Montana Fair showcases FFA and 4-H live animal shows and exhibits indoors. Youth work on grooming and training their animals for the fair and their static exhibits all year long, and everyone is invited to come and see all the work they have done,” she said.

At the fair, there will be ribbons and awards for 4-H/FFA and open class, as well as money for the grand champions. The non-animal exhibits win ribbons and plaques, as well.

While the fair officially opens on Aug. 13, there are a few 4-H/FFA shows opening earlier. On Aug. 12, there will be the 4-H/FFA Horse Show in the Superbarn at 4 p.m., and the 4-H/FFA Cavy Showmanship and Cavy Show at 5 p.m. in the Expo Center.

On Saturdays after the shows, the Junior Livestock Sale will be held for winning animals and exhibitors.

Open shows for all ages

Adults and kids can also participate in the open jackpot sheep show, open cattle and market steers, open jackpot goat show, swine show and the open horse show.

In the Ag Building and throughout the fair, agricultural businesses, from seed companies to chemical sales to farm and ranch equipment, will have displays.

Producers enter hay, crops

Montana and Wyoming producers have a chance to enter their crops, including forages, into the Open Crops Division.

Some of the crops and forages include: oats, malting barley, different classes of wheat, peas, safflower, speltz, edible beans, sugarbeets, sunflower, triticale, rye and corn.

Hay producers often bring their baled alfalfa and grass hay for the forage hay entries, and their corn or sudangrass silage for the silage entries.

The best event of the summer will be at the Montana Fair fairgrounds this year – with the colorful sights of the carnival and games, and the wonderful smells of delicious specialty foods and baked goodies.

The feel of agriculture is everywhere at the fair – from the barns filled with live animals to the farm and ranch businesses that come from near and far, to the sugarbeets and other crop and hay displays at the fair.

Montana Fair history

1916 was the start of something spectacular – it was the year of the first Midland Empire Fair.

The fair promised to have the finest agricultural, livestock, and industrial exhibits ever seen – and it did. The Midland Empire Fair brought together communities from all over Montana and northern Wyoming.

This allowed people to show off their projects they had been working on all year in hopes of winning a blue ribbon and some recognition.

With great excitement for this new endeavor, the fair board made special arrangements with the Northern Pacific Railroad to run a train from the depot to the fairgrounds. This arrangement gave special rates for riders of the train to travel back and forth from the fair to home.

The Midland Empire Fair brought in the finest livestock in the region and people traveled from all over. Soon, Montana started becoming known as a state in which purebred livestock was a specialty.

Not only were there livestock exhibits, but in the early years, there were horseracing and rodeos. The annual horserace drew in thousands and the rodeo brought in cowboys from all over the nation.

After having the name Midland Empire Fair for nearly 60 years, the fair board decided it was time for a name change and rebranded the fair as the Yellowstone Exhibition.

The Yellowstone Exhibition lasted about for about 14 years until transitioning to the Montana Fair that remains today at MetraPark.

For more information, visit the Montana Fair website at http://www.montanafair.com/schedules/.

The Prairie Star Weekly Update

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