New Ravalli County Fair Manager Melissa Saville stopped by the KLYQ Event Show Friday, September 28, and updated us on this year's Ravalli County Fair wrapup. Over 20,000 people came through the gates during the weeklong event in Hamilton. The fair always has a huge number of exhibitors - photos, quilts, baked goods, canned goods, garden harvests, ceramics, flowers, art, and beer and wine. This year, almost 1,1000 exhibitors brought 7,891 exhibits to the exposition, an increase over last year. Melissa would like to see that number go up again next year. There are 35 different departments and each one has a Superintendent - a local expert who can guide you through the fairly simple rules in each category. You don't need to pay an entry fee and if you win a ribbon, it can often come with a cash prize. Joy McClure, Food Superintendent, said entry forms for the 2019 fair will be available June 1st. So, don't wait to plan your entry.

The 4-H and FFA entries were "over the top" this year. In fact, some planning is needed to expand the livestock barns and that process will start this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., September 29, when the MSU Extension Office and the 4-H organizers will have a fundraiser with 4-H raised pulled pork sandwiches and discussion at the livestock area on the north end of the Hamilton fairgrounds. By the way, the kids brought in $500,000 with their animals sold this year in the stock sale, which is always Saturday morning of the fair.

The night rodeos were extremely popular again this year, with standing room only most of the nights and an appreciative crowd making some noise for the cowboys and cowgirls. The Ravalli County Fair was successful, but only because a huge number of volunteers are involved. You can be a volunteer in many different areas. You just need to head on over to the fairgrounds office and talk to the folks. Here's an extra incentive - for every four hours donated, you get a free One Day adult pass. You can call (406) 363-3411 or email fairgrounds@rc.mt.gov.

A little 4-H showmanship goin' on. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)