Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

Open Class staff hopes last year's premiums get topped


Mark Hebert

Malta's Camri Salveson's first place cupcakes (and outstanding exhibitor) from last year's Open Class at the Phillips County Fair.

It was a pleasant surprise last year when, even though the area was plagued with drought and fires, exhibitors and entries hit new highs in the Open Classes at the Phillips County Fair and organizers are hopeful for another strong turnout this August.

"We were really surprised that we had an even better year last year than we did at the 100th Fair and it was awesome to see that the numbers were up," Phillips County Fair's Joy Linn said. "This year, it's hard to say what will happen if the weather stays hot and dry like they are predicting. The number of entries will depend on the number of people who are around, but we are still one of the highest paying fairs in the state as far as premiums."

This year's Phillips County Fair includes Roots & Boots - veteran country singers Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, and Collin Raye form the trio - in concert on the main stage on Friday night and of course the Kid's Fun Time Carnival, vendors and 4-H and Open Class competitions.

"We are going to have a great concert again and that should be a great draw," Linn said. "But our biggest draw is our community itself and family coming out to support family."

The 103rd Phillips County Fair starts in Dodson on Thursday, August 2 and the deadline for entry in the open class is that day by 8 p.m. (4-H weigh scales will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.) If you can't make it to the fair for some reason but want to enter items in the open class competition, you can send them by express or freight, prepaid, to the Secretary of the Phillips County Fair, Dodson, MT 59524. Each individual exhibit shipped must bear a tag giving the name and address of the owner and department, class, and lot where the entry is made. As always, there are no entry fees for any departments in the Phillips County Fair.

"It is good to remind people that this time of year is not too late to start throwing some canning together, are start getting some crafts put together or start thinking about what you want to cook to bring to the fair," Linn said.

Three of the last four Phillips County Fairs have seen exhibitors and entries grow (the lone down year being a drop in 2016) and last year 2,528 entries were shown at the fair by 322 exhibitors for a total of $5,680 premiums paid of the $17,551 offered (32.36 percent.) By comparison, the 2014 Fair saw 1,916 entries by just 231 exhibitors and almost $1,000 less was paid out (just 26.91-percent.) One of the areas where entries have continued to rise in the Open Class is in Needlework, Art, and Hobbies as those categories jumped from 651 total entries in 2014 to 1,070 in 2017.

"Sometimes I think people forget just how much is on that exhibitor's list," Linn said. "There is an awful lot of stuff to pick from to enter so pick up an Open Class Premium book and see what is available. We are always open to suggestions and trying new things."

Fair Premium Books can be picked up the Phillips County News Office, Todd's Technology and by visiting the Fair website at and clicking the links tab.

See you at the fair!


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