GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Since the early 1930s, the Montana State Fair has been the quintessential agriculture celebration. Running for 88 years, the Montana State Fair was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. The one year hiatus just means this year’s fair, the 90th Montana State Fair, will be bigger and better than ever as it continues to prove “It’s All Good in the 406.”
Set to run July 30 through Aug. 7, there will be a little something for everyone at this year’s Montana State Fair. The fair is open from noon to midnight on weekends and from noon to 11 p.m. on weekdays with limited free parking by the Northwest Bypass entrance.
Admission for the fair is $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors over 60 years of age. Children under five years old are admitted for free. This year, a lunch special ticket will be available for $4 and can be used Monday through Friday of the fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For those interested, there is also a Montana State Fair 10-Pack Bonus Buy which will be on sale until noon on July 30. The Bonus Buy is $50 and gets you 10 fair gate admission tickets (must be bought in increments of 10.)
Blue ribbons and the next generation of agriculturalists are truly the cornerstone of any fair. From livestock exhibits to quilts, cookies, photography, floriculture and more, youth as well as adults, are encouraged to enter something in any of the 21 unique departments that will be offered at this year’s fair. Participants will compete for ribbons, and of course, the right to say they were one of the best at the Montana State Fair. Competitive entries will be on display throughout the week and visitors are encouraged to check them out.
Anyone interested in entering something at the 2021 Montana State Fair can visit www.cascadecountymt.gov/224/Competitive-Exhibits to find more information and entry forms.
No fair is complete without a carnival and for the 27th year, the Mighty Thomas Carnival will be offering thrilling rides and tasty treats at the Montana State Fair. Setting up on Friday, July 30, the Mighty Thomas Carnival will once again be bringing some of their crowd favorite, iconic rides, including The Star Tower, a gentle yet thrilling 90-foot swing chair, and Black Out, the exhilarating ride that made its debut in the continental U.S. in 2019. New from Mighty Thomas Carnival this year is The Beach party, a two-level funhouse with bright colors and wacky obstacles that will be sure to evoke a laugh or two.
Discounted carnival wristbands can be pre-purchased any time before 6 p.m. on July 30. The pre-purchase of a wristband will come with a voucher to be redeemed at the Mighty Thomas Carnival Ticket Booth. The voucher is good for any day of the 2021 fair. Wristbands can be purchased at the Montana ExpoPark Box Office, over the phone by calling 406-727-1481, or online at https://tickets.goexpopark.com/.
Wristband coupons will also be available this year. Coupons are good for $3 off the purchase of a wristband and will be sold at various locations around Great Falls. For a list of those locations, please visit www.cascadecountymt.gov/225/Coupons.
Horse racing will be back again at this year’s Montana State Fair. The Great Falls Turf Club will have races on July 24, 25, 31 and Aug. 1, with a post time of 1 p.m. each day. An evening race will happen on Friday, July 30, with a post time of 5 p.m. Visit https://greatfallsturfclub.org/ or call 406-727-4249 for more information on the races.
Don’t forget about The Big Sky Pro Rodeo running Aug. 4 -7. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event will showcase some of the best cowboys, cowgirls, and rodeo stock the industry has to offer. Each nightly rodeo performance will begin at 7 p.m. and feature a different theme. Tickets for the nightly rodeos can be purchased online at https://tickets.goexpopark.com/.
As always, there will be plenty of fried food and other delectable treats available to fairgoers. Grab a bite to eat before cruising through the over 200 commercial vendors that will be set up throughout ExpoPark.
For more information about the 2021 Montana State Fair, and to stay up to date on the event goings-on, please visit www.cascadecountymt.gov/213/2021-Montana-State-Fair.