County approves fair entertainment contracts

This week, County Commissioners approved a five-year contract with the Mighty Thomas Carnival for fair rides, sideshows, carnival games and concessions on the grounds for the Montana State Fair at Montana Expo Park.

The 2020 fair is included in the contract though it was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the contract covers fairs for 2021-2024.

The Mighty Thomas Carnival has provided the midway services to the Montana State Fair for the last 26 years, according to county staff.

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In the contract, the carnival agrees to present rides with an hourly passenger capacity of at least 80 percent of those at the 2019 fair.

The carnival agrees to pay the fair 35 percent of gross ride ticket sales, net of applicable sales taxes, up to $350,000 in sales; and 40 percent of those sales over $350,000, according to the contract. The carnival also agrees to pay 10 percent of ticket gross of up to two “extreme” rides and the designation of “extreme” will be mutually agreed upon by both parties, according to the contract.

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Last week, commissioners approved contracts for the fair entertainment.

The contract with Romeo Entertainment for the night show concerts including Big and Rich, Terry Fator, Travis Tritt, King and Country, Chevelle and Kodi Lee was approved for $496,060.

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A $6,000 contract with the Nerdy Noah Show, Noah Royak was approved for entertainment at the fair, plus a hotel room for the performers.

A $13,500 contract, plus two hotel rooms, was approved for the Kelly McDonald Band.

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A $6,750 contract plus one hotel room was approved for Jeff Martin, Sleighly Amazing Seriously Funny Entertainment to provide 36 hours of walk around, strolling and stage entertainment during the fair.

A $25,000 contract, plus two hotel rooms, was approved for Robots and Cars Entertainment to provide grounds entertainment.