Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo: A family tradition

Concert, carnival, PRCA rodeo and thousands of exhibits on tap Aug. 18-22 in Kalispell

New & Notable

The 2021 Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo, scheduled for Aug. 18-22 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell, focuses on “Montana’s Best Traditions.” In addition to a carnival on the midway and thousands of exhibits on display throughout the grounds, the fair will feature a performance by country star Chris Janson, three nights of action-packed Ram PRCA Rodeo and a motorcycle and snowmobile stunt show. Tickets for the concert and all other grandstand events are now available for purchase at the fair office and online at

Carnival rides are always a hit at the Northwest Montana Fair in Kalispell.
Carnival rides are always a hit at the Northwest Montana Fair in Kalispell.

The 2021 Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo continues a long-standing Flathead Valley tradition that began in 1902, the first year the fair was held. “Generations of Flathead Valley families have participated in the fair over the decades and made it one of the most anticipated events of the summer,” said fairgrounds manager Mark Campbell. “We chose this year’s theme of ‘Montana’s Best Traditions’ to pay tribute to the traditions that have been handed down to us from our parents and grandparents and that we in turn have handed down to our children and grandchildren. We invite newcomers to the Flathead Valley to experience the Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo this summer and consider making it one of their family’s traditions.”

On deck for Aug. 18, Janson is a platinum-selling recording artist, multi-instrumentalist and award-winning singer/songwriter whose hits include “Buy Me a Boat,” “Fix a Drink” and “Good Vibes.” Since the release of his debut album in 2013, the three-time Country Music Association nominee has earned the trophy for Academy of Country Music Award’s Video of the Year for “Drunk Girl,” which also earned the Song of the Year title at the 2018 MusicRow Awards. Janson’s chart-topping, triple-Platinum smash “Buy Me A Boat” was named iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of the Year. His current single, “Waitin’ On 5,” can now be heard on the airwaves.

Janson, a member of the Grand Ole Opry, has co-written songs with country-music peers including Tim McGraw, LOCASH and Hank Williams Jr. Tickets for the concert are $40-$55 for adults; $22 for children 6-12. At all events, children ages 5 and under are seated free of charge in the general admission area, and advance tickets include fair admission.

The Ram PRCA Rodeo runs Aug. 19-21 and will feature world-class athletes from Canada and across the United States aiming for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Events include bareback, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Adult tickets range from $25 to $30, with seniors admitted for $10 to the general admission area on Aug. 19. General admission tickets for ages 6-12 are $10.

The Northwest Montana Fair culminates Aug. 22 with the Kalispell debut of Octane Addictions Big Air Bash, a motorcycle and snowmobile stunt show featuring six riders who have competed and medaled in the X Games. Tickets are $10-$20.

Admission onto the fairgrounds is a separate fee at the gate and costs $8 for adults and teens, $5 for seniors ages 65 and over, and $5 for children ages six to 12. Children ages five and under are admitted free of charge. Fairgoers can save money by purchasing admission tickets until Aug. 20 or while supplies last at any Whitefish -Credit Union branch in Kalispell, Columbia Falls or Whitefish during normal banking hours. Advance admission tickets are $5 per person, regardless of age.

For more information about the Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo or to purchase event tickets, visit or call 406-758-5810.