Hi-Line residents are gathering this weekend for one of the biggest events of the spring, the 62nd Annual Montana Seed Show in Harlem.
The show has grown in that time beyond agricultural shop talk and includes arts and crafts, auctions at Harlem High School and more than ample opportunities for tasty and charitable eating all over town.
Paul Rasmussen, the event’s chairperson from Harlem’s Clothing Company, said that the festival has also grown in the distances from which people come to the seed show.
“It’s pretty much just Blaine, Hill and Phillips county, but we reach a little bit farther than that,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve got exhibitors coming in for the trade show from as far as Loma and Glasgow. I got a call from a guy in North Dakota, but that’s not definite yet.
“For the size of the town, we usually have a pretty good turnout.”
One of draws that brings people from all over, all weekend, are the medical screening tests offered by Western Health Screening.
Sandi Bell, CEO of the Billings-based clinic, said that they will offer free bone density and biometric — height, weight, body mass index — tests.
They are offering blood tests well below the prices offered at a hospital.
The clinic recommends people who want the blood tests to not eat for 12 hours beforehand, unless they are diabetic, to drink water and to take all prescribed medications.
The results will be returned in 10-14 days.
People have already started filling the Hi-Line town, as festivities and contest entries began this morning.
Tonight, a publicly judged chili cook-off starts at 6 p.m.
On Friday and Saturday, breakfast is served from 7 to 9 a.m., for attendees to get fueled for the trade and art shows that run from 8 a.m. into the evening.
Friday’s activities wind down with a Future Farmer’s of America pancake supper in the high school’s shop, at 4:30 p.m.
Festivities end with an art auction at 7 p.m., with all proceeds going directly to the artists.
The seed show’s Saturday schedule is largely the same, but wraps up a little early, at 4:30 p.m., so everything can be torn down before the 7 p.m. banquet finale.
Those people who pay the banquet’s $25 admission will be entertained by “Nashville Star” contestant Charley Jenkins, whose success at the Blaine County Fair Rasmussen hopes to recreate.
Then, as Rasmussen said, the annual Montana Seed Show will have passed, and it will be time to “put her to bed” for another year.