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Due to vandalism and trash issues camping only allowed at fairgrounds during special events

Fairgrounds trash Screenshot 2023-05-17 at 3.47.07 PM.png
Posted at 4:11 PM, May 17, 2023

KALISPELL — The Northwest Montana Fairgrounds has a new policy for camping following some recent issues with vandalism and destruction of property.

Camping will now only be allowed during special events with a vehicle permit. No camping signs have been added to the entrances and untagged vehicles will be towed.

The north entrance and east walk-in gate have been locked after misuse and vandalism. This all stems from an increase in transients using the horse stalls and other buildings to camp in and causing damage and leaving trash.

Cleanup has cost around $10,000 since the first of the year.

“We have found weapons we've found human waste. We have found vomit, drug paraphernalia. We've found clothing, tents, backpacks, books, food, empty food wrappers, spoiled food. We've got a ticket booth that they broke into this winter that we've cleaned out, and it still has a very strong smell that we just can't get out of there of what we suspect is probably drug use. Our announcer rodeo Booth was broken into and they packed that up with with a number of trash items. Overall we've we have taken out about 20 loads of trash just just over this last six, six month period,” said Sam Nunnally, NWMT Fairgrounds Manager.

As Flathead County property, the fairgrounds will still be open for public use, but camping is only permitted during special events.