Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Local residents are set for a week of fun, entertainment, competition and the perennial favorite fair food when the Great Northern Fair gets under full steam Wednesday. The activities started months ago with planning and setting up events at the fair, and crews have been working for the last week preparing the grounds and the crews from Royal West Amusements Inc. setting up the midway this week. The fair activities started today, with local 4-H club members who work year-round to prepare for the culmination of their activities this week having interview evaluations and the Hill County 4-H Teen and Queen competitors scheduled to be interviewed this afternoon. At 8 this morning local crafters, cooks, artisans and artists started their participation in the fair, with the beginning of entry day for the open class competition, displayed in the exhibits buildings at the fair. For most, the fun really begins Wednesday at noon, with the rides, games and booths opening on the midway, the local food booths starting to serve their wares and the 4-H judging getting under way. The events run each night, with the carnival staying open until midnight through Saturday and closing at 11 p.m. Sunday. 4-H exhibit buildings and barns close at 6 p.m. Wednesday and the exhibits close at 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 5 p.m Sunday. Grandstand entertainment The main entertainment, the nightly shows in the arena, starts Wednesday with the Junior Rodeo at 5 p.m. For $5, fairgoers can see youngsters working at their cowboy- and cowgirlship, emulating their adult heroes and working who knows? to perhaps become adult champions themselves. The Junior Rodeo tends to have events broken up by age, with younger competitors working on events such as sheepriding, barrel racing and flag racing with the older cowhands moving up to events closer to the full slate of adult rodeos. That action starts Thursday, with the PRCA rodeo typically bringing national title contenders to the Great Northern Fairgrounds starting at 6 p.m., and resuming Friday at 6 p.m. People watching the PRCA rodeo have an added bonus this year, with rodeo clown Duane Reichert scheduled to perform both nights. The grandstands will be hopping again on Saturday when engines rev during the annual truck pull. A $12 ticket buys entry to two shows, a local amateur competition starting at noon and the ProWest competition set to begin at 7 p.m. Competitors will hook their vehicles to a sled loaded down with weight to see who can pull the most the farthest across the arena floor. The grandstand entertainment closes out Sunday with a longtime favorite, the Jaycees demolition derby. Fairgoers will see the action start at 5 p.m., with derby enthusiasts bashing away in the preliminary heats, working to remain in the arena and running long enough to qualify for the final round. Reserved seating at the derby costs $12, with general admission going for $10. The midway also will have its own entertainment, with the free stage featuring Aussie Kingdom and Jeff Martin, the blond curly-haired magician. The free stage is slated to run from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Along with the shows on the stage, the animals from Aussie Kingdom will be at the fairgrounds for people to watch between the shows. Midway fun A standard part of the fair starts at noon Wednedsay with Royal West Amusements opening its venue of rides, games and concessions. The company is starting a new bonus this year, with the purchase of an all-day ride ticket also buying $5 in tokens to use for food and games on the midway. Tickets sell for $14 for a sheet of 10, or $25 for an all-day stamp. Parents also receive a bonus, with an all-day stamp for them selling for $10 with the purchase of a child’s all-day stamp. People who buy the parent’s special all-day stamp also receive $5 in food and game tokens. Food booths Some old favorites return to the fair with more than a dozen food booths set to tickle fairgoers’ taste buds. Favorites like steak-on-a-stick, Vikings, pronto pups and scones will be sold, along with the standards of burgers, corn on the cob and a variety of drinks. The concessions serve as fundraisers for many local organizations and service clubs, with decades-old favorites, like the booths of the Jaycees, Optimists, Knights of Columbus, Havre Rotary and the Lions Club, joined by relative newcomers some actually serving less than 20 years like Montana State University-Northern science and football booths, Havre wrestling and the Boys & Girls Club. 4-H animals and crafts galore Local 4-Hers will be competing all week, with the exhibits bui lding opening at noon Wednesday and the animal competitions starting at the same time. Horse judging and showmanship starts those events at noon Wednesday. Thursday begins with market animal weigh-in and ultrasound from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The crowning of the winners of the teen and queen competition is set for 1 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. with cat showmanship and judging followed by pocket pets; and the rabbit showmanship starting at 4 p.m., followed by poultry showmanship. Thursday also has a showmanship workshop slated for 6 p.m. The 4-H showmanship for dogs and large animals starts Friday with the beef showmanship slated for 9 a.m., followed by beef breeding and market beef. Dog showmanship is set to start at 2 p.m. Saturday’s competition starts bright and early when swine showmanship begins at 8 a.m., followed by market swine and breeding swine. Sheep showmanship continues the events Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m., followed by market sheep, breeding sheep and the goat events. The 4-H round robin showmanship event rounds up that activity at 3 p.m., with the preparations for Sunday’s market sale starting at 5 p.m. The sale begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, preceded by announcements at 12:30 p.m.