By Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Great Northern Fair Board has changed the dates of the 2006 fair in order to compete better for fair circuit talent.
After this year, the fair will be held the third week of July, fair board chair Tim Faber said.
The Great Northern Fair, scheduled for Aug. 10-14, is held too close to the dates for the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, fair manager Tim Solomon said. The state fair will be held July 29 through Aug. 6.
"The first and second week in August are your number one and number two weeks of fairs in Montana," Solomon said Monday. "We were running into a lot of competition for rodeo contracts, carnivals and all kinds of acts."
The Chouteau and Blaine county fairs will run July 7-10 and July 14-17, respectively. The Great Northern Fair's new schedule should still fall after those two fairs in future years.
The new dates will also be better for local fair participants, Faber said. The dates will not run into harvest, and will allow area children who participate in 4-H to have a break after the fair and before school starts.
For the 2005 Great Northern Fair, the board has booked two acts, Kid Fiddlers and Herb Dixon.
Kid Fiddlers is a group of six siblings from Salt Lake City who play bluegrass.
Solomon said Herb Dixon, a Canadian comedian, often performs at Harley-Davidson rallies. According to his Web site, he has opened for the Doobie Brothers and Chubby Checker.
The yearly demolition derby will take place on Friday and the PRCA rodeo will be held Saturday and Sunday, Faber said.
Faber looks forward to 2006, when he thinks the Great Northern Fair will benefit from the schedule change. "We were looking at bringing in better night shows," he said. "The opportunity to get ahead of other fairs kind of brought that on."