Today is the first day of the Central
Montana Fair. Located on the edge
of Lewistown, the fair grounds sit
idle for most of the year. However
for three days every summer it's
packed with folks from all around
Fergus County. Frankly I'm not fond
of crowds. Especially in the mid day
summer sun. However if you have
never been to a regional fair, you
really ought to consider attending.
From fun houses to funnel cakes,
it's worth trying anything once.
One must always remember that the
predominant business in this region
is agriculture. Most locals spend the
majority of their lives tending crops
and livestock. It's the type of life that
while seemingly simple, requires the
patience and resolve of a gambler.
Every spring they plant their crops
and then wait. Will Mother Nature
help them thrive or barely survive?
The month of July is agricultural
purgatory. All you can do is pray.
Hence why not go to the fair?
Most attend the fair for two reasons -
to socialize and compete. Ever since
homesteaders first settled in Central
Montana, farms and ranches have
grown larger while the population
decreased. Today ranchers manage
massive tracts of land. Depending on
whether (or not) you like people, one
either travels miles to see a friendly
face or lives in isolation. The fair
is sort of an annual family reunion.
A time to forget about your chores
and have some fun with friends!
Generation after generation, ranchers
invest substantial time, energy, and
cash in breeding the best livestock
possible. While it's fun to show off
the fruits of one's labor, it's important
to maintain a competitive edge. After
all a good piece of beef or pork can
yield big bucks! The better yours is,
the higher the price. While few admit
it, most ranchers have a spiritual bond
with their herds. Therefore emotions
run high as they compete for the big
prize. Who doesn't like to win?
Worth the fare
The best part of the fair is the
thrill of it. Whether it's people
watching, riding the carousel,
bronco busting, demo derbies,
or corn dogs, there's fun for all!
Strutting your stuff is certainly
more exciting than sitting at
home. It ends Friday so hop in
the pick up and come on down.
You've got nothing to lose but
some cash and dignity on the
midway. Isn't that alone worth
the price of admission?