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By Tim Leeds 

Fair board hears rodeo proposal, discusses 2021 Great Northern Fair

 

Last updated 2/17/2021 at 11:38am



The Great Northern Fair Board Tuesday night heard a proposal for a one-day National Rodeo Association-sanctioned rodeo and had a short discussion on other events at the 2021 Great Northern Fair.

The 2020 fair was canceled due to COVID-19, although Hill County 4-H held limited events that week on the Great Northern Fairgrounds and a main food staple of the fair, the Havre Lions Club Pronto Pup booth, held a drive-through event with cars lined up off the fairgrounds during Festival Days weekend in September.

Tuesday, Dwayne Ozark of Treasure State Rodeo said his organization would like to hold a one-day rodeo during the Great Northern Fair, preferring the Friday night of the fair, July 16.

He said an NRA rodeo requires certified people such as announcers and judges, but his organization finds that local boards can get certification for local announcers and so on to keep the local people involved.

He said some rodeos will set local entries at a long range, such as 200 miles, so people in that range do not have to be NRA members, and the rodeo can accept all pro cards for entrants.

“So your pro guys can stop here and enter with their pro cards,” he said “It changes the caliber of your contestants considerably. … and them guys will come.”

He said Treasure State Rodeo did a new event in Malta last year and four world champions entered. 

He said Treasure State Rodeo can provide the stock and required personnel and equipment although the fair would have to provide some things, like an arena director, tractor driver, water truck driver and so on.

He said their bid to put on a one-day rodeo was $7,000.

Board member Jack Solomon said the board will look over the Treasure State Rodeo proposal and get back to them.

Board Chair Bobbie Dolphay said this morning that the board has both Thursday and Friday open for events — the board said during the meeting that the Cody Four Colors Memorial Bull Riding event that has been held on Fridays will not longer be held — and is looking at proposals.

The board members also briefly discussed other events at the fair.

Board member Michelle Burchard told Ozark while he presented his organization’s proposal that they are “99 percent sure” that the kids rodeo again will happen on the Wednesday of the fair, July 14.

Board Vice Chair Chelby Gooch said the events for the fair all are being planned, although issues could arise with cross-border travel from Canada in one case. 

The Havre Jaycees is again planning to hold its demolition derby on Friday night, and music is planned for Sunday night.

The board discussed other events planned at the fairgrounds, including the local Boy Scouts planning an adult Pinewood Derby and the Havre Lions Club considering again holding a drive-through Pronto Pup vending event.

Amanda Powell of the Hill County Extension Office gave an update on plans for Hill County 4-H, including its planned events during the fair, including, weather permitting, holding a horse show outdoors in the fairgrounds arena Thursday, July 15.

The list includes set-up day Wednesday, July 14, weigh-in day Thursday, July 15 along with the horse show, beef and dog shows Friday, July 16, the pig show, sheep and goat show and round robin Saturday, July 17 and the small animal show and livestock sale Sunday, July 18, with all but the horse show in the Bigger Better Barn.

Powell said Hill County 4-H also would like to hold a spring weigh-in in the Bigger Better Barn Saturday, April 10, and to start horse workshops in the barn in May.

She said 4-H has been having some trouble scheduling requested dates in the barn due to apparent conflicts.

Members of the board said they would contact fairgrounds manager Frank English about that, and several members said they have been having trouble contacting English, leaving messages he does not return and he is not returning requested information to members of the board.

The board also heard an update on the building that houses the office for the fairgrounds, which had its roof collapse in 2019 during a heavy September snowstorm.

The board is working with Bear Paw Development Corp. to study removal of asbestos from the building — and possibly other locations on the fairgrounds — through its brownfields program. Work on repairing the building is being delayed pending that work.

The board also agreed that upgrades to equipment including cameras and a new computer should be put on hold until the work in the office is further along.

It also heard an update reporting that work on the Bigger Better Barn is basically complete.

The board also discussed looking into repairing the work on the roof of the horse barn, damaged in a 2015 storm.

At that time, the estimate for repairs was $147,000, Solomon said, and the contractor said it probably would cost $50,000 more than that now.

 
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