Seed Show traditions continue this weekend
Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson, file photo
Victoria Hofer of the Turner Colony kisses a beagle and 1/8-lhasa apso puppy that was for sale at the 62nd Annual Montana Seed Show in the Harlem High School gymnasium in Harlem in March 2011.
For generations, Harlem has welcomed people from throughout the Hi-Line and beyond to its Montana Seed Show.
It will be the same this weekend, when thousands of people are expected to attend the exhibits, concert, health fair, feast and art show at the show, which started Thursday and runs through Saturday night.
"It should be quite a weekend," said Paul Rasmussen, the chair of the event and a third-generation volunteer at the show.
"My grandfather was involved and then my father and my uncle," he said.
The massive show traces its roots to 1949, when it was held in the Harlem Civic Center that has since burned down.
There was no seed show for one year in the early 1990s, he said. Other than that, it's been a Harlem tradition, he said.
The activities this weekend are the culmination of work that began last fall.
"We usually try to get the ball rolling in September or October," Rasmussen said.
That way, big decisions are made by the first of the year, and there is no last-minute rush, he said.
"We try to start selling ads and lining up vendors early," he said.
"We couldn't have this if it weren't for the many businesses that buy ads to support us," he said. "And it's not just Harlem, it's businesses up and down the Hi-Line.
"We have a lot of good people on the committee," he said. "They have been hanging in year after year.
"But we're always looking for new people," he said. "We're all getting older."
The weather forecast is for nice weather all weekend, and that has organizers expecting a good turnout.
"When people get up in the morning and the weather is nice, people feel like getting in the car and driving to Harlem," he said.
"A lot of Harlem people are here," he said. "But we draw people from all over the Hi-Line. One woman, I know, is coming from Glasgow," he said.
The health fair is gaining in popularity, he said.
Everybody is offered screenings such as blood pressure, weight, pulse, oxygen, hand strength and bone density, sponsored by Western Health Screening of Billings and the Blaine County Health Department.
Up to 32 blood tests will be offered. People are asked to fast for 12 hours before taking the test.
For the first time, Havre's H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum will conduct a "Hands on History" program that enables young people to handle equipment farmers used in previous eras.
Well-known western artist J. D. Mackin came to the seed show's art festival for many years before he died, he said.
"His wife, Lola Mackin, will be back again this year," he said.
For the first time, he said, The Bad Larrys, a band from the Flathead Valley, will provide the entertainment.
"They do a little folk, a little country and some Creedence Clearwater Revival," Rasmussen said.
Montana Seed Show schedule
2 to 5 p. m.: Pie and bread auction and merchandise drawing;
4:30 to 6:30 p. m.: Pancake Supper in High School Vo. Ag. ;
7 p. m.: Art auction.
6:30 to 9 a. m.: Breakfast;
6:30 to 10 a. m.: Blood screenings and health screenings at North Hall;
8 a. m. to 4 p. m.: Exhibit building open;
10 a. m. to 2 p. m.: Kids Day "Hands on History," South Hall;
10 a. m. to 2 p. m.: Lunch;
10 a. m. to 4 p. m.: Classic Car Show in Harlem High School Vo. Ag. ;
10 a. m. to 3:30 p. m.: Quilt show;
10 a. m. to 4 p. m.: Sheep to shawl demonstration;
11 a. m.: Women's Interest meeting, Harlem High School Library;
11 a. m. to 3 p. m.: Pie and bread auction;
4 p. m.: Exhibits take down;
7 p. m.: Banquet at Harlem High School.