Havre Daily News
Baby boomers and their spouses will meet at the Hill County Fairgrounds on Labor Day weekend to reminisce with old friends and make new ones at the second Fossil Festival.
The event, first held in 2000, is a chance for current and former Havreites who graduated from Havre High and Havre Central schools from 1950 to 1969 to visit, sample food from local eateries and dance to the sounds of the fabulous Squires and The Long Tall Texans.
"People come up ... to renew acquaintances and friendships and even meet new people," said 1967 Havre grad Sandy Anderson, who is organizing the festival along with 1964 Havre grad Diane Lamphier.
The two women are asking alums to preregister for the event soon by stopping by the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce or Boxcars Casino, or by visiting www.montanaclassreunions.com, in order to get a count for food for the barbecue that is planned for the evening of Sept. 3. Early today, more than 700 grads and friends have registered.
Many of the schools' graduating classes are now foregoing their own reunions in favor of holding events during the Fossil Festival.
There are a few events scheduled, Anderson said, but most of the weekend's calendar is open, allowing old classmates plenty of time to chat about past and present, visit Havre attractions and munch on Pronto Pups, Nalivka's pizza and other local favorites.
"We want to keep it simple," Anderson said.
On the nights of Sept. 2-3, alumni and guests will have the chance to dance the evening away to music provided by the original Squires, a local group that rocked the nights away 40 years ago.
Local musician and Squires member Kirt Miller said the two concerts will take Havreites back with a mix of surf songs, rockin' little ditties and country rock songs.
"Everything is based on what went on in the '60s here in Havre," Miller said.
The Squires will open and close the concerts, with The Long Tall Texans - consisting of some Squires musicians and special guests - sandwiched in the middle. The group gets its name from an original Squires tune, and will feature a fiddler named Matt Tallis, who was asked by Miller to come from Darby for the event.
Miller, a 1965 Havre grad, said the group used to play at a revamped Laundromat called the Squires Inn and a North Havre establishment called VIPs A Go-Go.
"We built a place for kids to come," Miller said of the Squires Inn. "We had that for a number of years."
"It will be very, very good quality music," Anderson said.
She said the Fossil Festival evolved out of a millennium party five years ago. She and friends decided to invite all of the local graduates from the 1960s. Their predecessors from the 1950s soon heard about the party and decided to join. The first event was a big success, Anderson said, and this year's festival could double in size. Alumni from the late 1940s and early 1970s are welcome to join in on the fun if they'd like, she added.
Anderson's partner in crime, Lamphier, has played a big hand in making sure things run smoothly at the festival, she said.
"She's done a lot of work," Anderson said. "We've had several committee meetings and, so far everything's running smoothly."
The gates at the Hill County Fairgrounds will open at noon on Sept. 2. There are more than 70 RV stalls available for visitors for a fee, and registrations can be made by calling (800) 265-7121 or 265-7121. There is a $20 gate fee due upon arrival.
Local establishments and organizations, including the Kiwanis, Lions Club, the Havre Jaycees, Nalivka's Original Pizza Kitchen, PS Limo Service and Beaver Creek Golf Course, will be providing food and fun.
T-shirts will be available at the event and for presale at Boxcars Casino, Master Sports, Mel's Food and Norman's Ranch and Sportswear.
There will be a pancake breakfast on the morning of Sept. 4. The Fossil Festival will be open to the public all day on Sunday.
For more information, including schedules and phone numbers, visit the Web site.
On the Web: www.montanaclassreunions.com.