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Hi-Line Living: Hill County fair


July 29, 2016

Havre Daily News/Teresa Getten

Dirt flew into the crowd as four battered cars - growling with force - spun and rammed and burrowed into each other. Every impact in the arena elicited cheers and oohs and aahs from the crowd. On the front bleacher, a family of four watched, two opened bright-colored umbrellas serving as a shield for the stroller, a golden-haired toddler behind the other.

It was the demolition derby - there was one more day before the 2016 Hill County Fair was over - and there was little room in the stands. The sun was out in full force and there was no sign of a cloud in the sky. That hadn't always been the case.

On the afternoon of the first day of the fair, four days earlier, a short but intense downpour soaked the grounds right before the junior rodeo began, rendering any ground that wasn't paved soft, mucky and engrossing.

David Madorsky, who was working the games and rides, was in Montana for the first time. David lives in Oswego, New York, and he travels with the carnival. He and his friend James were working a game where the object was to throw round, rubber rings around glass bottles in order to win a stuffed animal.

David said he'd been in a lot of places with the carnival, but this was his first year in Montana.

Havre Daily News/Teresa Getten

One of his favorite aspects of the job was meeting new people, he said, but he also pointed out that his experiences haven't always been pleasant. He said he's been threatened, people had pulled weapons on him and he's been verbally assaulted.

But people in Montana, he said, are usually nice, and Montana is "beautiful."

"It's nice out here," he said.

Dana and Scott Seidel are Havreites who'd been coming to the Hill County Fair for 30 years.

They had with them two grandchildren and a great niece.

Dana said her favorite part of the fair is the 4-H activities.

"We grew up with 4-H, so we've always loved that," Dana said.

She and the kids also enjoy the shows, she said, particularly mentioning the magician.

Dana said this year's fair had fewer commercial exhibits but also had new rides like the Forklift.

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