“Fair” Thoughts

The 84th edition of the Montana State Fair concluded Saturday in Great Falls (MT). The fair started on July 24 and ended August 1.

I did not attend the State Fair, but here are my “Fair” thoughts…

It’s a tough job putting on a fair because you can’t please everyone. I have not attended the fair for several years and it probably coincides with their decision to stop offering free night concerts. The night concerts were not really “free” because you still had to pay to get into the fair – and pay to park on the fairgrounds. Like many people attending the night show, I showed up early, had some fair food, and also purchased beverages at the concerts.

Those in charge of the fair said they were losing money by offering free night concerts. I think they need to schedule a free concert during one night each year.

This year the fair ended with a whimper as the ZZ Top tribute band (ZZ-3) show scheduled for Saturday night was canceled because of low ticket sales.

The State Fair was scheduled for nine days and there were only five night shows scheduled at the Pacific Steel & Recycling Four Seasons Arena, which seems to be a waste. It’s probably difficult to attract a lot of performers since the arena seats fewer than 6,000.

The Big Sky Pro Rodeo Roundup seems to be the big draw during the fair. From what I read the live horse racing may need to get some additional dates during the fair because they did well. For music, the fair organizers seem to pick pretty good country acts to perform, although I don’t care too much for country – or rodeo – or horse racing.

Although it’s tough and expensive the organizers might want to try and bring something in for younger folks.

To please me, they could always bring in a classic rock band. It should be easy to find a band already in the region as normally a week or so after the fair the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is happening in South Dakota and after that “Rockin’ The Rivers” is scheduled for Three Forks.

Later on we’ll get the details about attendance and how many people attended the night shows. After the numbers are crunched, the organizers of the Montana State Fair may have a lot of work to do.

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