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Let the fair sports fun begin

Great Northern Fair features great rodeos and much more


Havre Daily News/File Photo

The Havre Jaycees Demolition Derby annually closes out the Great Northern Fair, as well as brings an end to a great week of sporting events at the fair. This week will be no different as the 2014 Demolition Derby and Bump and Run will be held Sunday night, while the week starts with the Havre Junior Rodeo Thursday night at 5 p.m.

If you like thrills, spills, screams and booms, of course, the Great Northern Fair is the place to be this week. But inside the Great Northern Fairgrounds Arena, you can get those same things every night.

The 2014 Great Northern Fair starts today and runs through Saturday, and while there is plenty to see and do, the sporting events will be a big part of the excitement.

The sports portion of the Great Northern Fair starts Thursday night as the Havre and Hi-Line Rodeo Clubs play host to the annual Havre Junior Rodeo. The Junior Rodeo is an entertaining event as it features cowboys and cowgirls from ages 5-18 in some fun events. The junior sheep riding is always a big hit at the Junior Rodeo, but youth cowboys and cowgirls will also compete in barrel racing, pole bending, flag racing, goat-ribbon untying, steer wrestling and team roping.

The Junior Rodeo is also a big event because of the participants. There will be a slew of local youths competing, not only from Havre, but from up and down the Hi-Line and farther afield. Each year, the rodeo is filled with contestants from Chester to Harlem, Big Sandy and Great Falls and all points in between.

And that’s just the start of four straight nights of wild fun in the arena.

Friday and Saturday night, the annual NRA Great Northern Stampede comes to Havre. The rodeo is one of the top events on the summer Montana Northern Rodeo Association circuit, and because of great payouts, is preferred by top cowboys and cowgirls from all over the state and beyond. Like the junior rodeo, the Great Northern Stampede will also feature a host of local talent. There will be competitors from Havre, Chinook, Big Sandy, Rocky Boy, Box Elder and Hays, and from many more places as well.

But the dirt won’t stop flying with the end of the professional rodeo Saturday night.

The Great Northern Fair always closes with the Jaycees Demolition Derby, and the 2014 version should be outstanding. The derby is a Havre fan favorite every year, and it provides some of the best and most thrilling entertainment of the entire fair week. But this year’s derby will be even more interesting. The Jaycees has added the Bump and Run to the traditional derby. The Bump and Run will feature more of a race format as cars navigate a course to the finish line. That new twist, combined with the excitement of the traditional derby, certainly will send the fair out with a bang. Of course, the traditional derby will still be a main attraction, with several preliminary heats and a calcutta slated.

The sports action at the Great Northern Fair starts with Thursday night’s Havre Junior Rodeo at 5 p.m. The NRA Great Northern Stampede will start at 7 p.m. Friday and again at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, while the Jaycees Demolition Derby starts at 5 p.m. Sunday.


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