By Tim Leeds 

BlackHawk concert set at Great Northern Fairgrounds


Last updated 8/17/2022 at 11:33am

Havre Daily News/Tim Leeds

Kaleb Fisher, from left, Michelle Burchard and Ken Erickson of Great Northern Fair Commission listen to comments Tuesday during a fair commission meeting in the Great Northern Fairgrounds Community Center.

The Great Northern Fair Commission heard updates on multiple issues and events at the fairgrounds during its monthly meeting Tuesday, including a major musical event coming to Havre.

Great Northern Fairgrounds Manager Frank English said the country band Blackhawk will be performing at the fairgrounds Thursday, Oct. 20.

English said after the meeting that he received the signed contract for the performance earlier Tuesday.

Part of the proceeds from the show will go to the Montana Association of Chiefs-of-Police, to support its work in providing professional training and peer support to police administrators, its philanthropic efforts such as supporting Special Olympics of Montana and Camp Make-a-Dream, the Montana Law Enforcement Foundation and Junior Police Leadership Academy, and its work on legislation.

BlackHawk, founded in 1992, saw success with its first single in 1993, "Goodbye Says It All," which peaked at No. 11 on the Hot Country Songs charts in early 1994. Their double-platinum debut self-titled album had four more single hits, "Every Once in a While," "I Can Sure Smell the Rain," "Down in Flames" and "That's Just About Right," all of which made the top 10 on the Country charts.

The band released three more albums in the '90s, with the single "There You Have It" reaching No. 4 on the Country charts and peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Vocalist and guitarist Van Stephenson had to leave the band in 2000 due to complications of skin cancer, from which he died in 2001, and was replaced by Randy Threet, who performed in The Outlaws with BlackHawk member Henry Paul - the third founding member was keyboardist and vocalist Dave Robbins - and continue to tour and record albums, with the album "Blue Highway" released this year.

Tickets for BlackHawk's Havre performance are available on

Lots of events on the way

The commission heard about multiple other events coming to the fairgrounds, including a "Wyldman" Rodeo set for the weekend of Havre Festival Days, the Havre High School rodeo and mixed martial arts fighting in October, a college rodeo and the Hi-Line Rodeo Team holding a series of rodeos.

Commission Chair Michelle Burchard said the team is holding three saddle series events instead of the Little Britches rodeos it has been hosting, and hopes to increase the humber of contestants.

Burchard said the commission is finalizing its budget and looking into working on the fairground bathrooms and on the Bigger Better Barn, including replacing dirt in the barn, working on its bathrooms and painting the walls.

Commission member Ken Erickson said that, at this point, the commission is researching what it will do for work on the bathrooms and the barn.

Hill County Commissioner Diane McLean said the commission needs to set an appointment with the Hill County Commission to go over the budget fairly soon.

Montana State University Hill County Extension Agent Kati Purkett gave a report on the livestock sale at the fair in July, saying that although the number of animals was down, the sale ended up making a little more money than last year. She said the sale had one goat, eight sheep, 25 swine and 26 beef sold, with a total sale of $257,399.

During the Buildings and Grounds Committee report, Commission Vice Chair Bob Kaul, who attended the meeting virtually, said they continue to do maintenance and repairs on the building and grounds, getting materials needed and working on the buildings.

"It's just a continuous thing," he said.


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