Madison Co. Fair starts today

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

It’s proving a literal off year for many annual events that got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And an odd year for those still going forward.

The Madison County Fair set to start today, Wednesday, Aug. 12, and run through Saturday on the fairgrounds in Twin Bridges is presenting a limited version of its usually overflowing self, presenting little beyond a ranch rodeo on Friday, a mini tractor pull on Saturday, and its traditional slate of 4-H shows Wednesday through Friday, followed by the 4-H sale on Saturday.

“It will be happening in the rodeo arena to allow for a little space for people. We hope we have enough room to not require masks for buyers,” said Mikayla Hudson, the MSU extension agent who focuses specifically on 4-H and youth development for Madison and Jefferson counties.

Hudson says the shows and sale will also be livestreamed over the Internet at rtmp:// or on YouTube at

Though potential buyers won’t be able to bid online.

“But you can set up a proxy buyer and we will have someone at the sale to bid for you,” said Hudson, who urged anyone interested in that sort of arrangement to contact her to get the needed paperwork filled out ASAP.

“Just call us at the extension office at 406- 287-3282.”

Though the NRA Rodeo that usually touches down for a couple days at the Madison County Fair won’t be present for the 2020 version this week, the fair will offer a Ranch Rodeo on Friday at 6 p.m., with young rodeo clown Joker Jett rumored to be set to perform.

Per a plan submitted to and approved by the Madison County Health Board, the rodeo will offer limited seating to allow for social distancing.

The rest of the fair schedule, which its organizers had completed and put into a Fair book by the end of the spring, had to be pruned for 2020.

“It was actually more work to downsize it for the pandemic than it would have been to go forward as usual,” said Madison County Fairgrounds Manager Dana Esscott, who was forced to cancel the gigs for all the entertainment acts she booked for this year’s fair and reorganize almost the entire multi-day event on short notice.

“But we are just happy to be able to allow the 4-H kids to go ahead with their projects,” said Escott, adding that some local kids will be acting as the fair’s only food vendors this year.

“They work so hard on their projects, they deserve the chance to show them.”

For more information, call 406-684-5824.

2020 Madison County Fair Schedule

Wednesday Aug. 12

8 a.m. Goats and Lamb Weigh-in (goats go first, followed by the lambs)

8: 30 a.m. Goat Show

10:30 a.m. Lamb Show

12–4 p.m. Indoor Project Drop off/ Check-in

1 p.m. Dog Show Check-in

2 p.m. Dog Show

6 p.m. Beef Weigh-in.

Thursday August 13

8 a.m. Breeding Beef Showmanship

Following Breeding Beef Classes

Following Market Beef Showmanship

Following Market Beef Classes

Noon to 4 p.m. Indoor Project Drop off/ Check-in

4 p.m. Poultry Show

7 – 9 p.m. Market Swine Weigh-in

Friday August 14

7 a.m. Swine Showmanship

Following Swine Market

12 p.m. Health and Nutrition Project Interviews

12–4 p.m. Indoor Projects Judging

1 p.m. Rabbit Show

Following Pocket Pet Show

7 p.m. Ranch Rodeo

Saturday August 15

8–10 a.m. Indoor Project pick up

9 a.m. Animals that returned home must be back on the Fairgrounds

2 p.m. 2020 Madison/Jefferson 4-H Sale

7 p.m. Little Lawn Mower Tractor Pull

Sunday August 16th, 2020

7 a.m. Animals Ship