Lively Lewistown

Plenty to do this weekend
News-Argus Managing Editor
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A steam-driven Avery tractor, over 99 years old, heads across the event grounds in 2016. Over 100 old tractors and other old-time equipment will be on display Saturday and Sunday, part of this year’s Pioneer Power Days event.

Photo by Charlie Denison


 “So many events, so little time” could be the theme for this coming weekend, which marks the start of the summer event season with new and returning activities to choose from. Locals and visitors can take their pick: Pioneer Power Days, Montana Pilot’s Association Fly-In, Airport 75th Anniversary Hangar Dance, Elks Club opening of new outdoor deck, Kids Fishing Day and the Art Center’s Hands On Montana party.

Start the weekend out on Friday night with a little nostalgia in the form of the WWII-themed Hangar Dance, featuring The New Harold Nicholls Big Band playing swing tunes from the 1940s and 50s. Bud Nicholls, Great Falls native and son of Harold Nicholls, directs. The event is a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Lewistown airport, with the dance in the restored WWII B-17 hangar.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with a ceremony honoring POWs and MIAs, along with a Color Guard presentation by members of the American Legion. The dance starts at 6:45 p.m., and sometime during the evening will be the Little Miss Rosie the Riveter contest.  A cash bar and food vendors will be available throughout the evening, but seating is limited so you may want to bring a lawn chair or two.

The airport/airplane theme continues on Saturday with the 14th Annual Fly-In sponsored by the Montana Pilots’ Association. Small plane owners from across the state will descend on the Lewistown airport, with over 75 planes expected.

“The weather to the west has a bearing on how many pilots show up, because they don’t like to fly over the mountains if the weather is bad,” said Airport Manager Jerry Moline.

A pancake and sausage breakfast from 7-11 a.m. helps support the Fly-In. From 8 a.m. to noon kids can register for free “first flight” rides. Local pilots offer these flights, volunteering to take kids ages 8-18 up for their first-ever plane rides. The flights will be Saturday afternoon, weather permitting.

“We give preference to those youth who have never flown,” Moline said, adding those who want repeat rides will be accommodated as room allows.

At noon some lucky fliers will win a free helicopter ride, courtesy of Central Air Service, Moline said. Kids flights start at 12:30 p.m.

Just down the road from the airport, drop in to the 33rd Annual Central Montana Flywheelers Pioneer Power Days, an exhibition of farm and homestead equipment from the days before gas powered engines. Watch the blacksmith at work, the steam-powered tractor engines chugging along or the old-time thresher. Active demonstrations with antique equipment, slow races, and the barrel-train for the littlest farmers are all part of the program. Food is available from vendors on-site. The event is both Saturday and Sunday, and kids under 12 years of age get in free.

Still haven’t had enough? Head downtown for the Lewistown Art Center’s Hands on Montana annual membership event, with artist demos, kids activities, live music and beer from Gally’s Brewing Company in Harlowton. The event takes place outside, on 4th Avenue South between Janeaux and Main, from 2-8 p.m. Saturday. Musical entertainers Nate Biehl and Chris Sand will keep your feet tapping while you enjoy the food, drink, face painting and other activities. The event is free, part of the Art Center’s goal to increase visibility in the community and gain new members.

“The biggest reason for increasing our membership and fundraising efforts is Mary [Director Mary Baumstark] and Leah [Program Director Leah Grunzke],” said Art Center Board Chairman Deb Slagel. “They have expanded our programming big time in Central Montana, and have great plans for our future that includes even bigger and better programming and outreach. They are amazing!”

Other events happening this weekend include the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Kids Fishing Day at the Frog Ponds from 10-noon Saturday and the grand opening of the enormous new deck at the Elks clubhouse on Pine Meadows Golf Course.


Take your pick of weekend events



• Hangar Dance with The New Harold Nicholls Big Band, doors open at 6 p.m., POW/MIA tribute ceremony at 6, dance begins 6:45 p.m., Little Rosie the Riveter Look-Alike Contest, pay at the door, Lewistown Airport main hangar.



• 14th Annual Fly-In, starting with pancake and sausage breakfast, 7-11 a.m., sign-ups for youth ages 8-18 to get a free airplane flight 8 a.m.- noon, flights in the afternoon, drawing for free helicopter ride. Small fee for breakfast, flights for youth are free, Lewistown Airport.


Pioneer Power Days sponsored by the Central Montana Flywheelers, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Airport Road, antique tractors and other steam powered equipment, demonstrations of threshing, rock grinding, blacksmithing and more. Fee to get in, those under 12 are free.

• Kids Fishing Day with free fishing, educational displays and prizes for young fishermen, Frog Ponds, 10 a.m.-noon, free.

• Lewistown Art Center’s Hands on Montana art party, free activities, music, food and beer, on 4th Avenue between Main and Janeaux streets, 2-8 p.m., free.

Grand opening deck party at the Elks Clubhouse at Pine Meadows, starts at 6 p.m., music starts at 7:30 p.m., fee to attend.



Pioneer Power Days sponsored by the Central Montana Flywheelers, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Airport Road, antique tractors and other steam powered equipment, demonstrations of threshing, rock grinding, blacksmithing and more. Fee to get in, those under 12 are free.



How much time do you spend using a computer or smart phone during a typical day?