HELENA - Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds staff are preparing for the start of 61st Last Chance Stampede and Fair on Wednesday.
Fairground officials say it has been a over a year of effort.
"All of a sudden, It's here. A week ago, it felt like it was a month away, and then now it's here," said Fairgrounds Manager Kevin Tenney.
Tenney says the fair and stampede bring Helena together.
"It's Helena's largest community event, you think that explains it? It's a community event. There's something here for everybody. Whether you're coming to ride the rides, see the animals, or see the rodeo. I mean, there's something for everybody down here," said Tenney.
But there are some changes to this year's fair festivities.
"We don't charge parking anymore or admission. It's free to come on the grounds. Another big thing is we are doing indoor concerts on Friday and Saturday nights. We've only just done the one on Wednesday. We added two more shows and hope that gives people more things to do while they're down here," said Tenney.
You can only bring small bags to the Cool Alley arena and exhibition hall, backpacks and large purses are prohibited.
With over 45 commercial and 25 food vendors, you will surely find food and items you will love.
For Tenney working the fair and rodeo makes the planning all worthwhile.
"I take a lot of pride in it, I have been here since 2005, and it has always been my favorite time of the year because I know what it brings. My staff, all the volunteers work for a year planning this, and when it's over it and when you see people smiling and having fun it makes all the work worth it," said Tenney.
You can find the complete list of events on the fairgrounds website.