It's fair week in Park County

Dwight Harriman
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New shows and the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce’s participation highlight this year’s Park County Fair, set for Wednesday through Saturday.

More on the chamber’s participation in a minute. 

First, the new fair events. One is the SkyBound Canine Variety Show. The show, which travels all over the U.S., features rescue dogs performing stunts. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the rodeo arena.

Another new attraction is the Stock Dog Challenge. Dogs from all over Montana will demonstrate various stock handling techniques at 7 p.m. Saturday in the arena.

“We are happy to be able to offer that to the public,” said fair manager Kim Knutson.

In fair changes, this year the Park County Ranch Rodeo will not feature pig wrestling. Knutson said the sponsor, the Shields Valley FFA chapter and alumni, were losing money on the event because of various logistical problems associated with it. Helping take its place will be the Mini Broncs event, featuring 10 children and 10 ponies competing with each other. The Ranch Rodeo will be held at 7 p.m. Friday.

Fair music will include the High Country Cowboys — three brothers from Red Lodge — playing Gene Autry-era country music, as well as local favorite Louis Armentaro on his steel guitar.


Familiar events

Meanwhile, familiar favorite events return to the fair, such as inflatables; paintless paintball; the 64th annual 4-H, FFA and Open Youth Rodeo; the Park FFA Sundown Showdown; horse shows; 4-H Dog and Cat Shows; game room; Commissioners’ Pie Contest, set this year for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday; and 4-H, FFA and open class exhibits; 4-H, FFA market and breeding large animal competitions; and of course, the 4-H/FFA Livestock Sale.

Fair entrance is free again this year, but some events, such as the Canine Variety Show and Ranch Rodeo, are $5.

Last but not least will be the annual follow-up to the fair, the Demolition Derby, set for Sunday at 1 p.m., which features a $3,000 guaranteed payout. Admission is $10 for 13 years and up, $5 for 6-12 years, and free for 5 and under.


Park County Days at the fair

The fair will be enhanced this year by the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce incorporating its annual Park County Days into the fair. Park County Days will be held 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It will include informational and vendor booths, a beer garden that will show movies through the three days, and a Barbecue Cook-off.

Chamber Executive Director Leslie Feigel said they are “very excited” about this event, and that judges are in place to pick the best barbecues. The cook-off will be held noon to 6 p.m. on Friday. Judging is at 6 p.m.

Park County Days will also bring with it a Park County commissioner dunking booth as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. County Commissioner Bill Berg is set to be dunked at 2 p.m. Thursday and Chairman Steve Caldwell at 11 a.m. Friday.

Also as part of Park County Days at the fair will be a giveaway of Keurig machines to the first 175 people who show up at the fair each day. The gently used machines are a donation from Xanterra Parks & Resorts from the remodel of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

And on a musical note: The Buckhorn Theatre moved its event with songwriter Jay Scott Thompson from the theater to the fair. He will now perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at the fairgrounds.

“We’re just really excited,” Knutson said about the fair. “We hope folks will come down.”

For more information, call the fair at 222-4185. To view the fair schedule online, visit and click on “Fair--Full Schedule.”


Dwight Harriman may be reached at