KALISPELL, Mont. -

The following release was sent out by Northwestern Montana Fairgrounds.

Rain and threatening skies couldn’t stop Flathead County from “Stirring up Some Fun” at the 111th annual Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo earlier this month.  Nearly 77,000 people attended events and visited exhibits Aug. 12 – 17 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.  Attendance was up 1.49 percent from last year’s fair.
 
The public provided a warm welcome to country singer Chris Young, who performed to a packed house Aug. 13 with 3,052 fans singing along to his hits.  After cancelling his Kalispell performance last year due to a medical emergency, Young stated, “This show has been a special date on our schedule for the past year and we’re really pleased to be here.”
 
A highlight of the fair was three nights of the Don K RAM PRCA Rodeo with 299 contestants entered into various events.  Thirty-two of the competitors are currently ranked in the top 20 of their events nationally. Veterans were honored at Friday’s rodeo with a group from Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls receiving special recognition for their service.
 
Total grandstand event attendance was 18,594 for six nights of programs, including two concerts, three nights of rodeo, and a demolition derby. This compares with 17,398 the previous year for an increase of 7 percent.
 
The foundation of the Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo is the competitive exhibit program with displays covering 23 different departments.  This year there were 8,009 items entered for display to the public representing the hard work of 1,012 exhibitors.  For many 4H and FFA members, the culmination to months of work and preparation is the Junior Livestock Auction.  Outstanding support by individuals and the business community supported the youth members with some of the highest prices per pound and a new high total of revenues recorded.
 
“While it’s still early for detailed reports of the many different program components, we wish to share our sincere appreciation to everyone involved that made this year’s fair such a safe, positive, and exciting event. Each year the community comes together with hundreds of groups and individuals putting forth thousands of hours to make the fair happen,” said Fairgrounds Manager Mark Campbell.
 
“Numbers are important to track our progress and establish goals, but a successful event is also comprised of so many intangible factors; enjoyment, education, safety, and a community celebrating together. This year’s fair excelled in these areas,” said Campbell.
 
Planning for the 2015 Northwest Montana Fair, scheduled for August 19 – 23, has already started, he said.