Montana County Fair Moves Forward with Changes


Concerns during this pandemic are keeping fair goers and exhibitors in suspense of how to move forward this summer. Many state fairs have been cancelled, rodeos scratched, and other summer gatherings called off. However, the Carbon County Fair Board in Carbon County, MT, has a plan to move forward with their fair.

After much consideration on how to provide youth with the learning experience of showcasing their projects at fair during these unprecedented times, the Carbon County Fair Board made the following decisions about the 2020 Carbon County Fair:

If Montana remains in Phase 2 of the Governor’s Directive: All 4-H and FFA exhibitors will be able to exhibit their animal projects in market, breeding and showmanship shows. Indoor exhibits will be judged like before and displayed at the fairgrounds. The livestock sale will take place virtually in a proxy format.

All animal species will be weighed, shown and taken home on their specified show days with the exception of market swine which will remain on the fairgrounds after the show. The fair schedule under Phase 2 will be as follows:

  • The fair will start on Monday, July 20 with indoor interviews running on an assigned schedule to reduce the number of people inside the Edgar Gruel Building.
  • Tuesday, July 21 will showcase the dog and poultry & rabbit shows. Animals will go home after their shows.
  • Wednesday, July 22 will focus on the horse show. All horses will go home after the horse show.
  • Thursday, July 23 all beef, sheep and goats will weigh-in, show and checkout.
  • Friday, July 24 all swine will weigh-in, show and stay at the fairgrounds until after the livestock sale. The livestock auction will begin at 1 pm on Friday and will take proxy bids in an eBay-type format through Saturday at 6 pm. Two blue-ribbon indoor items per exhibitor may also be sold during this virtual sale. There will be no sweepstakes show or buyers lunch.
  • Sunday, July 26 market animals sold in the auction will be delivered to drop-off locations around the county and shipped to processing plants and resale as designated by the livestock buyers.

This plan allows for exhibitors to showcase their projects and to sell them to the highest bidder much like before. The fun of the shows will remain as will the premium money, ribbons and buckles. Under Phase 2, no camping will be allowed on the grounds except for key staff members & superintendents. This was a tough decision, but balanced with the requirements for group camping, volunteer power needed and community health in mind, this decision was made to guarantee that the shows and learning opportunities can happen at fair. There will be no fair kitchen this year due to restaurant restrictions, but the 4-H Council is looking into other options such as food trucks and deliveries.

If Montana goes to Phase 3 on or before July 7th, the fair board will revert to the original fair schedule and allow camping at the fairgrounds and all animals will stay at the fairgrounds. The plan for food, sweepstakes and the auction will not change. There will be no 4-H concessions or sweepstakes and the auction will remain virtual.

As the situation develops and more information becomes available the schedule and plan is subject to change. With questions and concerns please reach out to a Carbon County Fair Board member or Carbon County Extension.


Carbon Country Fair Board

Carbon County Extension Office

Northern Ag Network – 2020

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