The school year is right around the corner, and being the procrastinator that I am, I have yet to begin the packing process–no need to mention that I move this Tuesday. I am a master of procrastination, my tactics ranging from cleaning the entire house (other than my own room) to taking a nap or reading a book that has for too long remained on my ‘must read list.’ With this in mind, a friend and I decided to head over to Deer Lodge, MT for the Tri-County Fair on Friday night. Lewis and Clark County was plagued with a severe weather warning, and what better way to escape the imminent wind and rain than to drive over a pass and into a different county?
As we pulled out of Helena, the rain was just beginning to fall from the sky, affirming our decision to make the trek over McDonald Pass. As we pulled into the Powell County Fairgrounds, we were faced with a glimpse of Montana–and one of the many, many reasons we love calling Montana home.
There is just something about a small town Montana fair–allow me to set the scene. As you pull into the fairgrounds, it is clear that the entire town is present: cars parked along the main road and tucked back in behind the barns, each empty patch of grass occupied by a local vehicle.
As you get out of the car the smell of fried food wafts through the air, and the sound of laughter fills your ears. But you know you are in Montana when the owners of each of the cars you passed on the way through the gate are crammed in the barn–present and ready to support the kids in the community.
Each year, Southwest Montana comes together for a good old fashioned county fair featuring five days of festivities. On the docket this year: 4-H exhibits, community exhibits, a variety of food, vendors, activities for kids, a rodeo, demolition derby, parade, and auction.
The stars of the show? The 4-Her’s. Growing up in the 4-H program, I can vouch that the kids have put countless hours in in preparation for the fair, whether feeding, grooming and training their animals or preparing their artwork, food, or educational display for indoor judging. So why not have a little fun?
If you are looking for an authentic Montana experience, a fair that brings together the community is the best way to find it. Enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, let your kids get that tattoo they have always wanted (Glitter of course), grab a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade and take a seat next to one of the locals at the auction or rodeo. We promise you won’t regret it.