The countdown

The countdown to Sweet Grass Fest and the Big Timber Rodeo weekend June 23 and 24 has begun. Festivities will begin Friday night with live music and the rodeo. Members of the event leadership teams, executive director of the Sweet Grass County Chamber of Commerce Julie Johnson and B Bar T Rodeo Company co-founder Ronda Johnston, gave a quick summary of this year’s event list.

— Sweet Grass Fest —

Johnson said she hasn’t looked at the weather forecast yet for Sweet Grass Fest weekend, and probably won’t.

“We had wind last year and rain the year before, so this year’s going to be perfect,” she said hopefully.

As of Friday, June 9, 33 vendors have signed up for the vendor fair, which will open at 9 a.m. Saturday morning on Second Avenue. Around 20 vendors participated last year, and Johnson said she is looking forward to the walking around the entrepreneurs and “seeing what people have made.”

The Chamber closed McLeod Street last year, but “we didn’t really utilize it like we could have,” Johnson said, so the car show will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday morning on the main drag this year, a change in location from last year’s show which took place on the west side of Second Avenue across from the vendor fair.

This change will allow more vehicles to be stationed along the streets and hopefully give each participant more breathing room than last year and make the festival as a whole “less separated,” she added.

The Fireman’s Breakfast will take place at 7 a.m. in the Big Timber Volunteer Fire Department parking lot and the annual Sweet Grass Fest Fun Run/Walk hosted by Montana on a Mission will begin 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning at 103 East Third Ave.

The parade will start at 2 p.m. and will run down McLeod Street.

McLeod will open to traffic by 5 p.m. Saturday evening.

The kids events start at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and will sport a bounce-house and the dunk tank, “which was pretty popular last year,” Johnson said. The bed race, which had made it’s premier appearance in the weekend festivities last year on McLeod Street, will not be happening.

“Logistically it didn’t really fit into this year,” Johnson said.

The weekend will have several live music events for music-lovers to choose from: 9 p.m. Friday night the Daniel Kosel Band will be performing at the Thirsty Turtle and Flatland Cavalry and Sam Riggs will be at the American Legion. At 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Montana Sun will begin playing near the Timber Bar and several hours later at 9 p.m. Kimberly Dunn will play at the American Legion.


To read the full story, pick up the June 15 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.


By Olivia Keith / Pioneer Staff Writer




Mackenzie Reiss / Big Timber Pioneer


A saddle bronc rider holds on tight during the 2016 Big Timber Rodeo. 


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