"Shooting for the Stars" is the theme of the 2012 Eastern Montana Fair.
Beginning Thursday, Aug. 23 and running through Sunday, Aug. 26, the event features old-fashioned good times, new attractions and brings back crowd-pleasers like the Thomas Carnival and a Lou's Traveling Zoo.
Four straight nights of exciting entertainment kick off with the Eastern Montana Tractor Pull on Thursday, a "powerful" event now in its third year and the Talent Show featuring area performers.
Friday night's entertainment will be the exciting NRA rodeo, which draws competitors from across the region.
Saturday's night show at the grandstands will headline Joe Diffie. Diffie is best known for his songs "Prop Me Beside the Jukebox," "John Deere Green," "If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)," and "Pickup Man." Tickets for the concert are available from the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce, (406) 234-2890, for $25 in advance. Advance tickets include admission to the Fairgrounds. $25 tickets will also be at the door but attendees will have to pay their own admission to grounds.
Sunday afternoon, fair-goers will enjoy the demolition derby.
The Eastern Montana Fair pioneered the idea of "free acts" in this region, and the fairgrounds midway crowd gets entertained daily at no charge. In 2012, the midway hosts a variety of free and wandering acts, including Michael Swenson, hypnotist; Jeff Martin, magician; and Joe Thompson, the Balloon Buffoon.
The Home show is back again with exhibitions by local and area businesses that showcase their services and products.
A major midway attraction each year is Lou's Traveling Zoo from Plentywood, a petting zoo with an emphasis on agricultural education.
Last year was Thomas Carnival's tenth year in Miles City. As always, they were a big hit with many clean and modern rides, and they will return in 2012.
Rodeo is always a big part of any Western fair. This year's National Rodeo Association contest will be filled with action and competition in classic tests of cowhand prowess. This is the NRA rodeo's fourth year at the fair, and it has proved popular with contestants. Two years ago, the Eastern Montana Fair was given a Gold Rodeo Award, voted on by contestants, for best rodeo grounds and added money.
Just after the rodeo will be a terrific fireworks display sponsored by local businesses.
For exhibitors and competitors, Thursday at the fair will see 4-H and FFA horse and horsemanship judging in front of the grandstand. Also, the pet show will be Thursday evening.
The deadline to enter most open classes is 3 p.m. Thursday, although people may bring in and set up their entries a day or so earlier if they wish. That 3 p.m. deadline also applies to produce, but flower exhibits may be entered up to 11 a.m. Friday. Open class judging takes place Friday.
The 4-H judging schedule remains the same on Friday, with livestock showmanship and breed judging.
Saturday is slated for enjoyment, at least for those who do not face more judging. Market livestock judging will take place throughout the day, and the 4-H livestock will be auctioned off.
A Saturday feature is the Champion of Champions competition, where the champion and reserve market steers from Custer and the surrounding counties compete in the show-ring portion of the event. Within the week, the carcasses will undergo a second comparative judging on the rail.
Sunday sees several novelties and events for various age groups, starting with a church service.
The fair gate fees are $2 for a day's individual pass or $6 for a four-day individual pass. Part of that fee goes to the fairgrounds improvement fund to benefit the public facility.
ETA: From the 2012 Visitor's Guide written by Yours Truly. The paragraph indents show in the posting window but not the finished post. Darn you HTML.
[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (8/2/2012)]