Photos by Neubauer Media
Noteworthy facts about the 2018 Western Montana Fair:
Superintendent of the Year: Dave Bell – Photography & Fine Arts
Fair Exhibit of the Year: Trish Clarke – 4-H Projects
Fair Food of the Year: Revive Youth – The ‘Chuck Norris’ Philly Sandwich
The new Made Fair Marketplace, held in the Commercial Building during the Fair was very well received with many compliments to its organizers for the beautiful layout, interesting local arts and crafts vendors, and a fresh approach.
The top-selling and record-setting Fair food was the legendary Lemondairy – a delicious combination of a lemon slushy and soft-serve ice cream sold for the benefit of Zoe Ministries. Add huckleberries and you have a Huckleberry Jamboree. The Lemondairy supplanted the long-reigning Viking-on-a-Stick offered by Sons of Norway as the top seller.
The Fair’s staff received many compliments about the new easier-to-use Fair website, which provided detailed information about all events, vendors, tickets, and programming. This contributed to less of a need for printed programs and thus less waste for future Fairs.
The new Fair website received 50,000 unique visitors in July and August, predominantly on mobile devices (73%). The most popular page was the new online Fair schedule and event guide.
While the Fair saw lower numbers compared to 2017 overall, the cooled-off weekend had the highest sales of recent times for concessions on a given weekend.
Fair shade and seating were doubled for 2018 and people used them! With two additional large tents added near the food and carnival areas and additional picnic tables and benches, folks congregated in the shade. The addition of water-mister tents helped folks cool off.
Staff continues to receive compliments about how clean and green the Fair has been compared to previous years. With a talented grounds crew and dedicated cleaning contractors, the Fair offered luscious grass areas and unyielding trash and bathroom cleaning.
Rhen Richard, ranked third in the world for all-around Pro Rodeo standings, made an appearance at the Missoula Stampede, dominating both the team roping and tie down roping events. Richard also had great performances in Bozeman, Baker, Great Falls, and several other rodeos in the region this summer.