Busy weekend with Stockgrowers, BBQ Cook-off, festival and more


Miles City is the place to be this weekend. The Montana Stockgrowers Association’s ’14 Mid-Year Meeting starts today and continues Friday and Saturday, the first Miles City Cowtown Cook-off activities also begin today and continue Friday and Saturday and the Miles City Mosquito Festival will round out the fun on Friday. Throw in a poker run, a bike show, and a cosmetology reunion, all on Saturday, and you have three days of great food, fine entertainment and exciting activities for the entire family.

The Montana Stockgrowers are celebrating 130 years during the mid-year meeting. Sessions started today at Miles Community College. More meetings of various MSGA committees are planned at MCC on Friday and Saturday. 

The Opening General Session of the event begins at 10 a.m. Friday. During this time, ranchers will discuss current issues that affect Montana’s livestock industry. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan will be the keynote speaker. The highlight of the mid-year meeting will be the Ranch Tour, which follows the general session on Friday. Meeting attendees will then board buses in the MCC parking lot to travel to Fort Keogh for a barbecue lunch and tour of the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory. The next stop on the tour will be the Range Riders Museum, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The museum includes 13 buildings with more than 38,000 square feet of display area. Exhibits range from dinosaurs to Native Americans, soldiers and pioneers who settled this land. The buses will then travel to the WaterWorks Art Museum, Optiblend Industries and a prime rib dinner at 6 p.m. at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.

The fairgrounds also is the site of the Bellamy Brothers Concert at 8 p.m. Friday. This concert is open to the public and tickets are available at a reduced price until 5 p.m. Friday at the Miles City Chamber of Commerce Office, 511 Pleasant St., phone 234-2890. Tickets also will be available at the fairgrounds the night of the concert. Opening for the Bellamy Brothers will be Copper Mountain Band of Montana. This band also opened for Diamond Rio on Thursday, May 15, during the 2014 Bucking Horse Sale in Miles City.

The Bellamy Brothers have written countless hits, received numerous music awards and recorded 45 albums.

Copper Mountain Band is a high-energy country music ensemble that appeals to all audiences. Copper Mountain also will play for a street dance Friday starting at 9 p.m. at the Texas Club.

In addition to the MSGA meetings on Saturday, there will be an “Old Times” Parade down Main Street starting at 10:30 a.m. with only horses and livestock pulling the entries.

More information about the Montana Stockgrowers Association activities is available by calling the office at (406) 422-3420 or online at: katie@mtbeef.org.

The first Miles City Cowtown Cook-Off will benefit the Miles City Soup Kitchen, which provides lunch for those in need and anyone who just likes a good bowl of soup for a donation every weekday (except holidays) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Veterans Affairs Building at 210 S. Winchester Ave.

Cook-off contestants will start arriving Friday morning and set-up will be on North Sixth Street near Main Street. The cook-off is a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event and qualified judges are needed. For those who think they can meet the challenge, a certified judges class is scheduled tonight from 5:30 to 9:30 in the Montana Bar Banquet Room at 612 Main St. Information is available by calling 232-1219. Judges certified at this class will be eligible to judge at the Miles City Cowtown Cook-Off if judging seats are available. The winners of the cook-off will have a chance to compete at several national championships. 

On Saturday, after an enforced quiet time from 11 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, the contestants will begin cooking. Judging of the entries starts at noon Saturday and the public is invited to watch the cooking and attend an awards ceremony that begins at 3 p.m. at the Trails Inn. Food and beverages will be served starting at noon and sampling of the barbecue entries begins at 4 p.m. The Milestown Bluegrass Band will perform at 4:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. there will be dancing by the local Caledonian Dancers. A street dance on Main Street begins at 7:30 p.m. 

The cook-off is a family friendly event that benefits a great local cause. Miles City residents are invited to bring non-perishable food items to the cook-off activities to donate to the 100KCBS Meals Mission, which is an effort by the KCBS to cook and distribute more than 100,000 meals around America during the next year. The Miles City Cowtown Cook-Off is participating in this mission by collecting contributions of food for the hungry. For more information visit www.milescitychamber.com or call (406) 439-0491.

Miles City Cook-Off activities also include a Poker Run on Saturday starting with registration at 8 a.m. The first car will leave at 9 a.m. from 408 N. Seventh St. and the last car is to return before 4 p.m. In conjunction with the poker run, there will be a Miles City Cowtown Cook-Off Bike Show from 5 to 9 p.m. on the corner of Fifth and Main streets.

Several children’s activities also are planned during the Mosquito Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park on the 600 block of Main Street. Children will have the opportunity to play in a Jump House, have their faces painted and enjoy games and more.

Also on Saturday, The Miles City Cosmetology Reunion is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Town and Country Club.

Wrapping up Saturday evening’s festivities will be the Mosquito Festival Street Dance by the Bison Bar with music by Daniel and the Blond from Red Lodge. They also will play at the Trails Inn on Friday starting at 9 p.m.

Activities are open to the public. More information is available from the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce at 234-2890, the Montana Stockgrowers Associations office at (406) 422-3420 or katie@mtbeef.org, the Miles City Soup Kitchen at 234-5013 or the Town and Country Club at 234-1600.