In addition to carnival rides, the rodeo, fair food and music, the 2019 Western Montana Fair is also ‘going green’, as well as taking important steps to honor missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Production Manager for the Western Montana Fair Tom Aldrich said the event is aligning itself with the county’s effort to ‘go green’.

“We’ve joined the Zero by 50 Movement, so we are working hard to reduce waste,” said Aldrich. “We produced 60 tons of trash last year so we’re hoping to cut that down as much as we can. We’ll be offering recycling and composting stations to help visitors dispose of trash properly.”

Aldrich said for the first time the fair will feature ‘Zero Waste Ambassadors’.

“They’re organized by Home Resource as part of an internship program with UM,” he said. “These are volunteers who essentially will help educate folks on recycling practices, to say ‘this plate goes here’ and ‘that plate goes there’ one for recycling and another for the landfill.”

Aldrich said the rodeo will feature a special message to fairgoers.

“We’re bringing awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,” he said. “We were very excited to team up with the Missoula Indian Urban Health Center on this project. They also sell Indian tacos at the fair. The missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is a significant problem in our community. 50 women are unaccounted for in 2018 alone, just in Montana. We’ll be dedicating a night at the rodeo on Saturday night. It’s called ‘Rock the Red’. There will be an honor song for those who are lost along with special guest speakers.”

Aldrich said the fair will feature its biggest motor sports show ever on Sunday, and a wide variety of music to please just about everyone, from Tyler Barham to country legend Wade Hayes.

Admission is free for the third year in a row, including some free events in the arena. Check the Western Montana Fair website for details.