Saturday activities during Stampede weekend in Stanford see perfect weather

Vicky McCray
Special to the News-Argus

Stanford’s own artist, Steve Lillegard, works on his masterpiece, “A Rough Ride,” during last Saturday’s Stampede Quick Draw.

Photo by Vicky McCray


Max Sherrit started the music on Saturday afternoon at the Judith Basin County Fairgrounds to kick off the CM Russell Stampede weekend in Stanford. He told the crowd how much he appreciated Steve Keller’s coming to his rescue. Keller let the young performer use his guitar because Sherritt’s didn’t have a plug-in. 

In addition to a number of other songs, Sherritt performed a Jerry Lee Lewis song for his dad and a Kenny Chesney song for his mom. Both his parents were among the listeners enjoying the music. 

At one point Steve Urick broke in on Sherritt and asked him to explain his experience on “The Voice.” He did not make it out of the audition, but he noted it was an awesome experience just the same – his 30 seconds of fame.

The Thrillbillies took over with their typical vigorous and energetic musicianship. They can always be counted on for a good time and can keep anyone who likes a good song listening for hours. They kept the music going until the end of the quick draw.

While the Thrillbillies jammed, Miss Rodeo Montana, Miss Big Sky ProRodeo Roundup and Miss Teen Rodeo Montana hosted the annual kids’ stickhorse rodeo.

This continues to be a premier Saturday event, as the young cowboys and cowgirls seem to come out of the woodwork once the call for barrel racers and calf ropers is made.

The queens found themselves helping several racers around the barrels and took time to show kids how to properly rope their calves. Some of these ropers required no help, however. Some have obviously been practicing their skills for quite some time.

The call for hungry people went out at 5 p.m. as the smell of barbecued burgers and dogs permeated the fairgrounds. It wasn’t long before a chow line had been formed in front of the cook shack and Stampede Club members, along with K’s Supermarket helpers, began serving their famous western barbecue. No one was disappointed again this year; in fact, many ranted and raved about the burgers’ and dogs’ great taste. The potatoes were a big hit, as usual.


Stampede Quick Draw and Auction Results

Eilene Porter was given the starting gun and at 5:30 the gun went off for the Stampede Quick Draw. Seventeen artists had set up under the covered building on the south end of the fairgrounds, and the gun gave them the nod to begin their magic. Under the scrutiny of a curious crowd, each individual proved his/her right to be called an artist. Many comments heard throughout the rest of the weekend attested to the exceptional art the artists had provided for the Club’s art auction.

At the end of the 45-minute work period the artists are allowed in the Stampede Quick Draw, they are given a few more minutes to frame their work. Their masterpieces are then auctioned at what has become a very lucrative event for both the Stampede Club and the artists.

Jayson Shobe and Dutch Knutson kept the bidding lively and friendly. The 17 masterpieces brought a total of $22,600. Besides buyers from Central Montana, there were also buyers from Georgia and Minnesota. 

The following is a list of the results of the auction. The artist’s name is followed by the title of the work, the price received for the work, and the buyer’s name.

Mitzi Nelson of Stanford, “The Challenger,” $600, Alverta and Don Andersen

Steven Oiestad of Great Falls, “Splish Splash,” $1,200, Mike Wilson

Cliff Rossberg of Great Falls, “The Old Bull,” $400, Linda Goldinger

Gaylene Fortner of Broadus, “Montana Stream of Colors,” $500, George Keating

Maggi Neal of Cascade, “Feeling Bullet Proof,” $750, Janine and Rod Merrill

Joe Kronenberg of Spirit Lake, Idaho, “Looking Back,” $900, Linda Goldinger

Ron Ukrainetz of Great Falls, “Two Gold,” $2,000, Bing Von Bergen

Mia DeLode of Harlowton, “Sagebrush Lullabye,” $1,050, Dick and Kathy Nelson

Linda Phillips of Hermiston, Oregon, “Cloud,” $800, Judy and Hugo Tureck

Steve Lillegard of Stanford, “A Rough Ride,” $4,000, Debby Shobe

Ben Pease of Belgrade, “The Gift of Life,” $3,000, Kurt Myllymaki and Family

Donna Toavs of Stevensville, “Big Boots to Fill,” $1,500, Tammy Zier

Bob Kercher of Great Falls, “Summer Gold,” $1,750, Eilene and Rick Porter 

Diana Roen of Stanford, “Mountain Clouds,” $900, Vicki and Keith Whitfield

Sandra Hiller of Elk, Washington, “Sound Off,” $1,400, Kelley Goodhart, 4 G’s Tire and Repair

Judy Johnson of Lincoln, “The Judith Basin,” $1,250, Joyce and Clayton Bush

Dave Maloney of Great Falls, “Early Skiff of Snow and Mountain Bluebird,” $600, Jim Paugh




What is your favorite part of the Fair?