Bright carnival lights

The Western Montana Fair is a community favorite for its fair food, carnival games and rides, and nightly entertainment.

Western Montana Fair

2010 Western Montana Fair — August 10-15

Every year one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year rolls around in August with the arrival of the Western Montana Fair and Rodeo. Now attracting 60,000 people through the gates each year, the fair has grown substantially since it’s inception in 1879 and it remains a vibrant and exciting annual community gathering place.

Events and Activities
Located at the Missoula County Fairgrounds at the intersection of South Avenue and Brooks Street, the Western Montana Fair is a six day celebration featuring traditional carnival games and rides, rodeo events, horse racing, a 4-H exhibition and sale, concerts, a demolition derby, commercial displays, stage shows, cooking demonstrations, competitive exhibits, and a whole lot more.

With all of the various attractions and events, the fair is perfect for the whole family. Small children can enjoy exciting kiddie rides and games, older kids and teens flock to traditional rides such as the Tilt-A-Whirl and Ferris Wheel.

Adults have a whole array of exhibits, events, and activities to choose from. Favorites are sure to include live horse racing which occurs two days of the fair, and meeting up with friends old and new at the always popular Beer Garden.

Fair Food
While most locals will tell you they head out to the fair for the rides, rodeo, concerts, and exhibits, they are equally apt to say it’s the infamous “fair food” that draws them through the admission gates.

Surefire fair food favorites include the ever popular fry bread, chocolate dipped bananas, funnel cake, corn dogs, nachos, corn on the cob, and huckleberry shakes and sundaes.

A couple of “can’t miss” food items are the infamous Tater Pig, a tasty baked potato with a sausage in the middle — and the Viking, which is more or less meatloaf on a stick, dipped in batter and fried.  Bon appétit– fair style!

It’s good to know that pleasing your palate also supports local charities and organizations that staff many of the food booths at the fair.

Nightly Entertainment
There’s also evening entertainment. Every year the fair offers two evening concerts, one featuring country music, and one featuring Christian music. Other nighttime events include the annual Bull-O-Rama, three nights of PRCA rodeo featuring the Charlie Russell Riders, and the annual Demolition Derby. Tickets to all evening events can be purchased online.

Fair Hours
Fairground hours during fair week are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. For more information about fair events, to purchase tickets, and for a full schedule of concerts and events, check online on the fair website.