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NW MT Fair returns to Kalispell, big crowds expected despite COVID-19 concerns

NW MT Fair
Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 19:16:47-04

KALISPELL — An annual tradition - the 119th edition of the Northwest Montana Fair -- returns to Kalispell Wednesday and runs through Sunday at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.

“I think there is some definite sheer excitement about coming back and having that tradition of the fair come back to be,” Flathead County Fairgrounds Manager Mark Campbell told MTN News.

Campbell expects visitation numbers to return to normal during this year’s fair after last year’s attendance dropped significantly due to COVID-19 concerns and cancellations.

“This year, flexible and adaptable and try to present the very best fair experience to everybody that comes,” said Campbell.

He said carnival rides are back this year along with hundreds of exhibits and 24 food vendors for fair goers to enjoy.

“We’ve got literally thousands of people that come together to make the fair happen, that’s what makes it so special,” added Campbell.

He said masks will not be required on the fairgrounds but are recommended during crowded grandstand events such as the rodeo and live music.

“Grandstand seating is masks are recommended or advised, okay we’re not able to social distance and still accommodate the crowd that would like to come and be a part of those events,” said Campbell.

He asks those who’re feeling sick to help protect vulnerable community members by not attending this year’s fair and coming back next year.

“We’ve gone through this with you for the last year-and-a-half, we don’t want to continue this thing, we want to stop it, so take those precautions and it’s really up to that individual that if you’re not feeling yourself, you should probably stay home that day,” said Campbell.

The Flathead City-County Health Department was reporting 626 active cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.