Park County Fair

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Last night my husband, Henry, our 6-month old, Anders, and I went to the Park County Fair. This must be one of the smallest Country Fairs in the country, but it was still pretty fun. The barns hold pigs, cows, horses, rabbits, goats, sheep and chickens, there are few rides and a handful of carnival games with the requisite stuffed animals lining the tents.

Baby alpaca at the Park County Fair petting zoo 2007

Baby alpaca at the Park County Fair petting zoo 2007

We got there during the 4H livestock auction. The 4H kids buy baby animals in the spring, raise them and then sell them at the Fair. A teenager I know made a couple thousand dollars off her hogs last year, so it is a profitable venture. The hogs we saw last night were going for $3-$4 a pound.

The auctioneer vomits out a string of words, urging the folks in the stand to bid, while four cowboys stand in the ring and point out the bidders. The kids, wearing black jeans, a white shirt and a black tie around their necks, walk around the ring with their pig. Some of these kids were so small! The pigs could have easily sat on them and squished them flat.

4H Hog Sale at the Park County Fair 2007

4H Hog Sale at the Park County Fair 2007

After the auction, we walked around the barns, looking at the animals. We missed the petting zoo, so we let Anders pet the sheep and goats. He was pretty mesmerized by the animals until a horse whinnied in his face and scared him to death. It was simultaneously hilarious and heart breaking. He howled for several minutes, then regained his composure.

Like most County Fairs, at least in the west, the rides look rusty and questionable. I’m sure they’re safe, but you have to wonder about something that gets disassembled and reassembled every few days. It sure would be easy to miss a bolt….

Ferris Wheel at the Park County Fair 2007

Ferris Wheel at the Park County Fair 2007

A requirement of a visit to the Fair is to sample Fair Food. I went for a caramel apple, (which was delicious) and Henry and I both sampled a friend’s funnel cake. Yum—fried dough and sugar.

In addition to the animals and rides, the 4Hers displayed their projects in one of the buildings. It looked like a science fair—posterboards filled with hand-written explanations of a cat’s intestinal system, how to grow a cow and other livestock-related subjects.

Tonight we hope to make it to the pig wrestling!

Just the Facts
Cost: $1 to enter, $5 for pig wrestling, $10 for the Demolition Derby and other entrance fees for additional events. Rides cost extra.
When: Second week in August
Where: Park County Fairgrounds, Livingston, Montana
Contact: 406.222.4185,, online

4H boy at the 2007 Park County Fair

4H boy at the 2007 Park County Fair

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