Gazebo showcases locals, accommodates fairgoers

Jenny Gessaman
Young girls in black and white polka dotted dress prepare to dance on an outside cement patio.

A troupe of young dancers performs at the Central Montana Fair gazebo as part of a Lewistown Dance Syndicate show.

Photo by Charlie Denison

This year’s Central Montana Fair may be full of events and displays, but at least one place will encourage fairgoers to slow down. The gazebo plans to showcase a variety of local talent while providing a chance for visitors to relax and children to enjoy the kid rides.

Charlie Denison, gazebo entertainment director, hopes the carnival draws a larger crowd to this year’s acts. He plans to highlight local talent this year, and is eager for the community to see its own skill.

“In the past, people have asked me, as a local musician, why I haven’t performed in the fair,” he said. “So this year, I decided to showcase more local talent.”

This is Denison’s first year as director, and he organized performances for every afternoon and evening. Although musical acts are the main feature, he promised a variety of performances, including music and readings by Cowboy Poetry members and shows by the Lewistown Dance Syndicate.

Syndicate Owner and Director Janet Luciano said her troupes have been a part of the fair’s gazebo for almost two decades. The hut may not be center stage, but she views it as a way to give back to a community that supports its dancers. Luciano added the shows also provide a lesson for her students.

“It’s not like we get a rehearsal to practice on the stage,” she said. “We just turn on the music and the kids figure it out.”

Luciano explained the environment and the mobile crowd help students learn how to perform in any condition.

“We are always looking for venues in the community so that we can get the kids out,” she said. “That’s an education in itself: dancing in front of an audience, getting used to the audience, learning the fun of performing.”

Luciano thought the gazebo routines would benefit fairgoers, too, by providing a place to take an enjoyable break.

“I just hope that everybody comes out and finds us at the gazebo,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of good entertainment for people to come back.”

Denison agreed, and thought the regional acts would really make the gazebo engaging for everyone.

“It’s just a way to showcase local talent during the Central Montana Fair,” he said.


Gazebo schedule
If anyone is interested in performing at the gazebo, contact Charlie Denison at 366-6694.

Wednesday, July 27
• 6-9 p.m. - Charlie Denison and friends

Thursday, July 28 
• 1-2 p.m. - Open mic
• 2:30-4 p.m. - Cowboy Poetry and Western Music Rendezvous Showcase
• 5 p.m. - Lewistown Dance Syndicate
• 7-10 p.m. Charlie Denison Band

Friday, July 29
• 1- 3:30 p.m. - Karaoke with DJ Mandy Eike
• 4 p.m. - Lewistown Dance Syndicate
• 5-6 p.m. - Open mic

Saturday July 30
• 1-2:30 p.m. - Open mic
• 3-5 p.m. - Charlie Denison and friends



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