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Signature Events

Signature Events

Some of the biggest draws to Southeast Montana are the annual events. The Custer Battlefield Reenactments, Bucking Horse Sale and Crow Fair are known the world over, and in this section we have listed some of this year’s highlights held in the region. While these events are some of our more famous, there are many more to enjoy year-round. There are so many, in fact, that we could never fit them all in this guidebook. To see a comprehensive list of the events held out here in Southeast Montana and to discover which ones best fit your trip through the state, check out our events calendar

May

BUCKING HORSE SALE, MILES CITY

There are rodeos and then there are rodeos. The world-famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale is in a category by itself. In fact, many rodeos have their roots right here in Miles City, as the Bucking Horse Sale annually debuts some of the finest bucking stock seen across the continent. Held the third full weekend in May each year, the Bucking Horse Sale offers a special brand of rodeo action born right here in Southeast Montana. 406.234.2890, buckinghorsesale.com

LITTLE BIGHORN DAYS, HARDIN

Hardin’s Little Bighorn Days are four days of festivities celebrating the sights and sounds of the past. Dancers from around the world dress in historic period costumes to attend the 1876 Grand Ball. Don’t know how to dance? No problem. Lessons are offered the evening prior to the dance. Award-winning local quilters display their latest creations at the local library. Art exhibits are held in the Jailhouse Gallery and Historic Train Depot. Living History exhibits are presented at the Big Horn County Historical Museum and are great for children. 406.665.1672, Hardin

June

BUZZARD DAY, GLENDIVE

Each spring, Makoshika State Park, near Glendive, celebrates the return of the turkey vulture (also known as a buzzard in eastern Montana) with Buzzard Day. Buzzard Day has events for all age groups, including the famous toughest 10k in Montana, 5k and kids 1-mile fun run. The long- standing event also includes performances by Native American drummers and dancers; archery and atlatl stations for participants to try out their skills; bird walk; paleo-hike; bouncy houses; food vendors; and games for all ages. 406.377.6256, stateparks.mt.gov/makoshika

BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIGHORN REENACTMENT, CROW AGENCY

Each year in June, near the Little Bighorn River, the famous battle where Lt. Col. George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry engaged thousands of Native American warriors occurs again. The Battle of the Little Bighorn is reenacted by professional Cavalry reenactors and members of the Native American tribes that played a part in the battle. The reenactment takes place on the Crow Reservation, upon the land where the actual historic battle was fought. Learn about the events that led up to the infamous conflict and watch how the battle played out. littlebighornreenactment.com

July

ROUNDUP INDEPENDENCE DAYS EXTRAVAGANZA (RIDE), ROUNDUP

Come celebrate our country’s birth through the lens of an authentic Western town. RIDE includes three days of 4th of July festivities featuring community parades, special events for kids, two evenings of live music and a youth rodeo. There will also be a carnival and community rodeo in town to add to the celebration! 406.323.4163, roundupride.com

ANNUAL DINO SHINDIG, EKALAKA

The Carter County Museum celebrates dinosaurs with lectures by world-famous paleontologists, kids activities, educational booths, demonstrations and a BBQ lunch. The town of Ekalaka joins the fun with an evening street dance, plus Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) hosts a bat walk. Festivities continue on Sunday with a paleontologist-led fossil expedition into the Hell Creek Formation, lectures and performances at nearby Medicine Rocks State Park, plus a butterfly pinning workshop at the museum. Prices vary and reservations for the fossil expedition are limited. 406.775.6886, cartercountymuseum.org

August

CROW FAIR AND RODEO, CROW AGENCY

The Annual Crow Fair Celebration is one of the largest gatherings of the year for the Apsáalooke Nation and is considered the largest modern-day American Indian encampment in the U.S. Crow Agency is deemed the “Tipi Capital of the World” because of the approximately 1,200 to 1,500 tipis in the encampment during the Crow Fair celebration. The event includes a powwow each night at the center of the encampment as well as horse racing and Indian-relay horse races. 406.638.3808 crazycrow.com

October

NILE STOCK SHOW AND RODEO, BILLINGS

The Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) Stock Show and Rodeo is held each year at MetraPark in Billings. The NRA-sanctioned rodeo is one of the first opportunities for professional cowboys to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The Western Expo is also held in conjunction with the NILE and showcases cowboy collectibles, clothing, Western art and farm/ranch equipment. Livestock events include breeding cattle shows and sales, two horse sales, horse futurity shows and the Northern Range Ranch Roping Finals. 406.256.2495, thenile.org

County Fairs

There is no better showcase for everything that is great about rural communities than a county fair, and there is no shortage of county fairs in Southeast Montana. These fairs typically feature prize livestock, dancing, arts and crafts, and even rodeos. The Montana Fair in Billings is the largest in Montana and brings in big-name musicians, carnival rides, PRCA rodeo and more. County fairs are typically held in July and August.

Farmers Markets

Using locally sourced ingredients in food is nothing new to us out here in Southeast Montana. Farmers markets provide local farmers, ranchers and craftsmen with the opportunity to sell their goods in the same communities in which they live and work. Many communities in Southeast Montana hold weekly farmers markets throughout the summer.

1.800.346.1876