There are the livestock sales and rodeos. The raucous street parties and Sunday cowboy church session.
Those are all hallmarks of the renowned annual Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, but ask those who've been around for a while and the heart of the event some call "The cowboy Mardi Gras" may be a little tougher to explain.
"As it is, the things we do from a tangible standpoint, I think we outdo even that with the intangibles," said John Laney, executive director of the Miles City Chamber of Commerce and a member of the event's governing board. "You're dealing with an incredible group of people and a lifestyle that is maybe unfamiliar to a lot of the people who might be visiting."
For more than 65 years, the Bucking Horse Sale — held in Miles City on the third full weekend of each May (19-21) — has been a time to not only showcase livestock, but also for people to get a taste of a Western lifestyle not found anywhere else in the country.
That lifestyle is inexorably intertwined with Montana's Western history and it's strong agricultural ties, including the original version of the sale, called the Miles City Roundup, dating back to 1914 and just a few decades after the Eastern Montana town's founding.
And for the more than 10,000 people who attend annually — effectively doubling Mile ...