MISSOULA — It is called the Hoedown in Midtown...and you better be ready to dance!
The Western Montana Fair kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sunday -- and while the usual fun will be back, there are some changes this year.
The fair at the newly renovated grounds is free -- the only price you pay is for parking, concessions, carnival, and grandstand events.
But the new fairgrounds come with new rules. No pets are allowed, other than service animals, and no camping. Masks are not required but are recommended for unvaccinated fairgoers.
But the biggest change is parking. Cash-only public parking is now located off of Russell Street and handicap parking is going to be off Stephens Avenue.
The fair will start with a Tribal Nations Flag Installation, where local tribal and community leaders will dedicate Montana’s eight tribal nation flags permanently as a part of the historical plaza at the grounds.
All Nations will have native dance demonstrations and a booth talking about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as well as other topics.
People are encouraged to wear red to the PRCA Xtreme Bulls performance on Wednesday to raise awareness for MMIW.
"So, we're really happy to bring light to that cause and help them reach out and find and communicate with the public about...the issues that we have in our community and rodeo is a great way to do that,” said Missoula County Fairgrounds Events and Operations manager Billie Ayers.
The Xtreme Bulls performance begins at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday while the Western Montana Fair runs from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Click here to view the list of scheduled events.