As carnivals go, the country folk one here in Dillon was quite an experience. The scenic backdrop of sunlit mountains capped with snow, contrasted with the lively atmosphere surrounding the festivities.
There were food stalls just about everywhere, serving any greasy condiment you can imagine, from hot dogs to turkey legs. There were no snack size portions available; you either wanted five meals in one or nothing at all. I opted for a freshly brewed ice tea and then skipped to dessert. We shared a funnel cake – greasy, sweet batter with a dough middle, covered in sugar. I can’t say I enjoyed it. There was more oil in it that anything else.
People had stalls with games on and lured you in, claiming that you would win something every go. I threw the darts and got all three balloons. When I asked for my big teddy bear, I was given a small, funky looking, purple alien. I was least impressed, I wanted the big bear. In contrast to fairs in the UK, here you can easily hit the jackpot but what they don’t tell you is you have to hit it many times, giving more and more money, before you win the big prizes. So it is as much a con as back home.
Nonetheless, there were other attractions to see at the carnival too. There were competitions for the best grown vegetable, floristic displays and art work. All the winners hard work was displayed for us to see. There were massive squashes, courgettes and some beautiful photography.
Animal auctions also occurred, where cowboys sat bidding for their livestock. We had a look at the pigs. They are funny creature, so fat and lethargic. Some are rather cute, in a strange way.
We also saw some goats, calf’s and sheep.
The Montana carnival had similarities to fairs in the UK, for instance, roller coaster rides, games and candy floss (here it is called cotton candy). However, there were also differences, indicative of country life, ie. the animal auction. Also, country folk stroll around wearing cowboy hats and cowboy boots. I should invest in some to fit in.
Today is finally the day of the rodeo. Not sure what to expect, we shall soon find out!