Wylie and the Wild West to headline 72nd Montana Winter Fair

The Wylie and the Wild West concert will be one of the highlights of the 72nd Montana Winter Fair.          

Photo courtesy of Wylie Gustafson

Brace yourself! Organizers are busy advancing plans for the 72nd Montana Winter Fair, coming up Jan. 26-29, 2017. Building on the record-breaking success of the 2016 Winter Fair, the board, event superintendents and volunteers are determined to make the 2017 Winter Fair even better.

Highlighting the Jan. 2017 Winter Fair will be a Friday night concert by Conrad native, nationally acclaimed, Wylie and the Wild West. The Wylie Gustafson concert will be Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of The Eagles. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 and are available online at MontanaWinterFair.com and at Don’s Store in Lewistown. A sell-out is anticipated, so get your tickets early.

A brand new Team Sorting clinic will be offered Friday at the Pavilion at the Fair Grounds. A beginner’s fly-tying workshop will be held on Saturday at The Eagles. Several other new events, including Arm Wrestling and Cross-Cut Sawing are being finalized. Those interested in stepping up and volunteering this year, are welcome to call Karen Kuhlmann at 538-4575.

The Farm Forum (free) on Friday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Eagles, will offer presentations on How to Manage Risk in Commodity Markets, Economics of the Wheat and Cattle Markets and Quick Books Basics. John Payne, presenter from Chicago, Kirk Donsbach, manager/operater of his family cow/calf operation in Roy, and Brandon Bantz, CPA, owner of Bantz and Company PC, comprise a powerful trio of speakers for the Farm Forum.

A Meet and Greet with the legendary Ice Queen of Central Montana’s Crystal Cave is scheduled for Saturday, at 11:30 a.m. at the Trade Center at the Fairgrounds. Be sure to bring your little Frozen princesses and your cameras.

This year’s 72nd MT Winter Fair will feature over 30 diversified events to engage and entertain young and old, ranch and town, male and female, guaranteed. Details and schedules can be found at MontanaWinterFair.com.


Visitors love Winter Fair

At the 2016 Winter Fair, attendees were asked to complete surveys prepared and analyzed by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana. Results revealed:

1) High levels of satisfaction with the Montana Winter Fair, scoring 4.5 (out of possible 5) for cost of the events, quality of the staff, cleanliness of venues, effective advance advertising

2) 90 percent of the attendees indicated they’d like to attend the Winter Fair in 2017

3) 74 percent reported staying overnight in a motel/hotel

4) 24 percent reported staying overnight with family or friends

5) The average travel group size was 2.21 people

6) 96 percent of those surveyed were residents of Montana

7) 19 percent of those surveyed came from outside Fergus County

8) Spending by those surveyed was greatest for grocery/snacks, followed by hotel/motel, followed by restaurant/bar, then retail goods

In mid-November, Jennifer Saunders at the MSU Extension Office (535-3919) will be mailing out Official Premium Books for the Jan. 2017, 72nd Montana Winter Fair to past fair participants. If you’d like to receive a Premium Book (registration forms and info for 30-plus events) please contact Saunders. Information is also available at MontanaWinterFair.com.

The Montana Winter Fair is a 72-year-old celebration of Central Montana’s world-class agricultural production and our enviable western lifestyle. Everyone is encouraged to participate, or just come out and spectate. Mark your 2017 calendars today: Jan. 26-29, MT Winter Fair.



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