According to Fairgrounds Manager Melissa Saville, the Ravalli County Fair is “the best family friendly fair around!” The Ravalli County Fair starts today, Wednesday, August 31 and runs through Saturday, September 3 at the fairgrounds in Hamilton.
Newer features at the fair include debit/credit cards accepted at all gates; free Wifi, a private carnival event for sensory affected children, Lunch at the Fair, the second annual bike giveaway, the second annual Montana State Cornhole Challenge, the Antique Tractor Pull and the Moto Roundup.
Perennial favorites include the thousands of Open Class and 4-H/FFA exhibits and shows, and the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction on Saturday morning.
The Rockin’ RC Rodeo is always a big draw, admission to which is covered by your gate ticket. Parking is also free. Daily admission for adults is $10 general, $8 for students, military and senior citizens 60 and over. Children 5 and under get in free. A fair season pass is $29 general and $22 for students, military and seniors. The carnival opens Wednesday at 2 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday at 1 p.m. Fair gates are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and exhibit buildings are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Free entertainment includes Tumbleweed Crossing, Cale Moon, Marty Davis and The Legend of the Pioneers, Jared Sherlock, “train” rides and Mini-Pony Bareback Riding contest.
Enjoy the laughter and excitement as the Old West town of Tumbleweed Crossing comes to life with an award-winning, 25-minute action-packed comedy gunfight show. Each show is filled with thrilling stunts, crowd-pleasing family friendly comedy and special effects. The show will be near the Antique Tractor Lawn on Wednesday and Thursday at 12, 3 and 6 p.m and on Friday and Saturday at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.
Cale Moon, country music entertainer, puts on shows that are a one-of-a-kind experience, designed around each new crowd. Moon’s music is made for and inspired by hard-working everyday folks, embodying the wild and untamed spirit of America! Moon will be playing at the KLYQ Free Stage on the midway.
Mary Davis and The Legend of the Pioneers is a unique show that highlights a special blend of Americana, with nostalgic stories and songs from the Silver Screen Cowboys, such as Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, The Sons of the Pioneers, and Rex Allen, right up to the real cowboys, past and present, who ride the rodeo and range with stars like Chris LeDoux, Ian Tyson and more. They will be playing on the KLYQ Free Stage.
Jared Sherlock is an award-winning illusionist and comic magician. .Audience members joining Sherlock on stage for high-energy comedy juggling and a contemporary performance of the infamous bullet-catch using a paintball gun are just a few of the things you might encounter during his show on the KLYQ Free Stage.
All ages will enjoy the trackless train as the engineer ventures through the fairgrounds. Rest your weary feet, listen to the tunes of the Beach Boys and have a little fun! The train will be running Wednesday through Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m.
There will also be Miniature Pony Bareback Riding during the rodeo. Call 406-369-1042 for entry information. Entities are limited to six riders each night.
The second annual Bike Giveaway for kids under 12 will take place at the Bitterroot Health booth. Ravalli County Public Health will be providing free helmets to all the winners.
The 2022 Montana State Cornhole Challenge will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. daily in the midway. There are categories for youth, men and women. Cost is $20 per attempt. Enter as many times as you wish to get a high score and win prizes and cash up to $5000. Register at www.ravallifun.com.
This year the Fair is teaming up with North Star Amusement to offer a special time for sensory-affected children on Thursday, September 1 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. 150 custom armbands will be available at the Fair Office, first come, first served. Certain rides will be available with no lights or music. Chaperones are asked to participate with the children to facilitate lines and support on and off the rides. The fairgrounds will offer free admission to sensory-affected children and one companion.
The special Lunch at the Fair will be available Wednesday through Friday. Exchange $9 cash for a special admission ticket at the South Main Grate ticket booth only and enjoy your favorite fair food between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Then get your $9 back when you return your admission ticket to the same ticket booth by 2 p.m. (If you arrive at the gate after 2 p.m., you will be charged regular admission. This is cash only.)
An Antique Tractor Pull, where antique tractor owners can test their machines against those of other owners, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 and 3 at 2 p.m. sponsored by the Tired Iron Club. Entry forms are due before you enter the competition and prize money will be awarded. For more information contact Darrel Sperry at 406-961-3450 or Blair Stevens at 406-961-6847.
The Moto Round Up will feature flat track motorcycles, quads, atc’s and outlaw karts from Montana, Washington and Idaho battling for supremacy in the final shoot out of the Tri-State Flat Track Challenge. Competitors range in age from 4 to 65+. Qualifying events take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons, with the main event from 3 to 8 p.m. at the newly constructed ⅛ mile oval dirt track on the northeast side of the fairgrounds.
The signature event at the Fair is the Rockin’ RC Rodeo. The Ranch Rodeo is on Wednesday at 7 p.m., with Bulls N Broncs at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The NRA Rodeo is on Friday at 7 p.m with the finals on Saturday at 7 p.m. Prior to each night’s rodeo events, you can enjoy watching the Mutton Bustin’, where kids try to ride sheep for as long as possible. Mutton Bustin’ takes place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m,, Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
And finally, to show your appreciation and support of the Fair, you can purchase an engraved paver from the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Foundation. The pavers will be placed at the main gate. Proceeds will assist with improvement projects, infrastructure upgrades and other programs that will improve the fairgrounds for generations to come. Call 406-361-1499 or email [email protected] for more information.
For more details about the Fair, check out the Bitterroot Star Fair and Rodeo Program in this issue.
See you at the Fair!