Last week we covered how MontanaFair is planning to make things work this year with limited events (no concerts, rodeo or supercross) while trying to implement social-distancing guidelines. This week, fair organizers announced there will be a few more cuts to the list of events.

Bill Dutcher, General Manager of MontanaFair told KTVQ yesterday (6/24) that there will be no competitive events at this year's fair. The fair usually receives around 10,000 entries for judging which run the gamut from artwork and photography to quilts, livestock and jellies. Basically, everything in the Expo center and then some. Dutcher said,

We have rearranged our livestock and animal-holding areas to allow for proper distancing in line with current rules. These changes, along with the ongoing removal of the grandstands, leaves us with little available display space and forces this change.

4-H and FFA programs in Agriculture and Non-Agriculture were approved earlier this month. If you purchased a Value Pass, the Metra is offering a limited-time opportunity to get a refund. We haven't heard yet how many vendors will be attending this year, which is a traditional fair staple in the Expo Center.

MetraPark marketing director Ray Massie told the Billings Gazette that MontanaFair normally sees attendance around 225,000 people over nine days. A 2018 MetraPark Economic Impact Study from Big Sky Economic Development indicated the fair pumps millions into the local economy, with the average fair visitor spending $180 either directly at the fair and/or in our community during the fair. With a very stripped-down version of MontanaFair this year it will be interesting to see attendance numbers for 2020.

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