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Fair Parade won’t happen this year

Daily Inter Lake | July 29, 2022 12:00 AM

A highlight of fair week for many, the Northwest Montana Fair Parade will not occur this year.

The fair and rodeo run Aug. 17-21 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Historically, the parade has been held on Friday through downtown Kalispell with floats, hot rods, horses and walking groups making their way down Main Street.

Sam Nunnally, county fairgrounds manager, said the parade has historically been hosted by outside organizations, not the fair itself.

“We talked with a couple of groups about hosting it, but none were able to do it,” Nunnally said.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce in 2021 decided to end its production of future parades, including the Northwest Montana Fair Parade. The chamber said it was opting out of parade sponsorship in order to focus on other business priorities and utilize resources strained by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Flathead Marines took on the Fourth of July Parade this year, but are heavily involved at the fairgrounds during fair week. Kruise Kalispell hosted the Fair Parade in 2021, but is stepping away from hosting parades.

Nunnally said fair organizers are stretched thin at the fairgrounds and are unable to provide the resources necessary to manage the parade.

Features Editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or hdesch@dailyinterlake.com.