Central Montana Fair full of new activities, events

Charlie Denison

Balloon artist Jeremy Telford stands by his balloon recreation of the Taj Mahal. During fair weekend, Telford will be working on big balloon projects at the Trade Center. What he will come up with is unknown.
Photo courtesy of Balloon Guy Entertainment


It’s mid-July in Lewistown, which means the Central Montana Fair is around the corner. And, this year, there are many new events to get excited about, Fair Board trustee Gene Meier said.

“It seems like there is always something new at the fair,” Meier said,  “and, this year, we’ve got a new carnival with new rides and new entertainment at the Trade Center.”

That’s not all.

“We are putting a new barrier wall in that hopefully will be done by the fair,” Meier said. “It goes clear to the fence. The reason we are putting it up is to keep racecars on the track. We’ve had some close calls through the years.”

This is not the only safety precaution the fair board has taken this summer, Meier said. In June, for example, handrails were installed in the grandstands.

“We’ve had several compliments on the handrails from people who attended recent BGM races and the Shrine Circus on the 4th of July,” Meier said.

In and around the fairgrounds there has also been a lot of clean up done, Meier said, as well as some improvements to the water and sewer system.

But what gets people most excited, Meier said, are the new carnival rides and the new Trade Center entertainment. There is one Trade Center act Meier said he is particularly entertaining.

Jeremy Telford, an internationally renowned balloon artist, will build one of his famous balloon creations during the fair, Meier said.

“The guy is amazing,” Meier said. “I recommend everyone check out his progress [throughout the weekend]. He’s unbelievable. Recently, he made a 30-foot-long dragon.”

Meier also recommends people check out humorous singer/songwriter John Dunnigan of Whitefish, who will entertain in Trade Center throughout fair weekend, as well.

Then, of course, there is the big show Friday night featuring Travis Tritt and Daryle Singletary.

“It’s going to be big,” Meier said. “Real big.”


New carnival, new rides

Not only are there new carnival rides this year, but there is also a new carnival company, as Dreamland is now the official carnival of the Central Montana Fair.

“Dreamland is bringing six rides for teens and adults, and six rides for children,” Meier said. “There will not be a zipper or a carousel, but there will be a Ferris wheel, high roller, tip top, a ring of fire, super sizzler, funhouse, cars, a slide and other fun stuff such as laser tag and inflatable fun zones.”

Rides also will also be located in different areas of the fairgrounds from years past, including by the gazebo.

“We hope this spikes up the turnout for gazebo entertainment,” Meier said.

Gazebo entertainment this year includes live music from a variety of local performers, a performance by the Dance Syndicate and karaoke with DJ Mandy Eike.


Good times for all

There is something for everybody at the Central Montana Fair, Meier said, young or old.

To go along with the rides for children, there are interactive events families can do together, such as the tractor pull.

“Alan Shammel and Tom Petranek have put together an adult tractor pull and a children’s tractor pull,” Meier said. “They are making it into a contest, which should be a good time.”

There is almost too much going on to mention, Meier said, adding that 4-H has a lot going on as well.

“4-H is always a big part of fair weekend,” Meier said. “The horse show starts on Friday (July 30) and I encourage people to go check it out.”

And, of course, Meier said, the community should check out the Central Montana Ram PRCA Rodeo.

“Kudos to the rodeo committee,” Meier said. “They have really gone above and beyond to make big changes. For example, they were behind getting a new announcer booth this year, something we’ve badly needed. Our old announcer booth must have been at least 23 years old.”

The new announcer booth was built with help from sponsors Spika Design and Manufacturing, Allied Steel, Rinaldi and Matt Berg, Meier added.

“Without our sponsors and our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a fair,” he said. “We appreciate all of those who have helped make the Central Montana fair one of the best and cleanest fairs in the country.”


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