The Northwest Montana Fair is a long-standing tradition in the Flathead, so when Mark Campbell took over as manager two years ago he faced a few challenges along the way.
"I needed to be cautious when I came in," said Campbell. "I had lots of ideas about change and was cautious we didn't break those traditions, we didn't change them. What we're trying to do is improve upon them."
The fair itself is only 5-6 days long, but it's the influx of trade shows in the off-season that has helped the fairgrounds improve its image.
"One of the reasons that we're trying to drive that business and make sure that people know that we're open for business is that it provides a positive economic impact for the entire community," he explained. "It also provides a positive economic benefit to the fair."
The 2012 theme is "Vote for Fun," a play on the election year and a chance for fairgoers to have a choice in what they want to go see and do while on the fairgrounds.
"We're trying to make fun at every turn and corner here," exclaimed Campbell.
Though horse racing and alcoholic beverages are absent this year, Campbell assures that the Indian Relay Races during the rodeo will become the new highlight for both young and old.
"It's a wild, wild event with 8 to 10 teams at a time, three horses per, and it's really something to see and experience," Campbell said.
And all of the hard work will come to fruition this week -- "We're a little cleaner, a little neater. We're just going to be enjoyable."
For more on the NW Montana Fair, visit their website.