Sunday, September 7, 2014

"What the Hay"; a celebration of culture in Central Montana

     It started years ago as a friendly competition between two neighboring ranchers to see who could be the most creative.  Within a couple of years this rivalry blossomed into one of the largest events in the State of Montana.  This year they celebrate their 25th Anniversary with the event stretching the 22 miles from Hobson to Utica to Windham.  Anything is permissible as long as the theme centers around the agricultural hay industry.  All sculptures must be made of straw or hay.  You can stop at the Midway Caf-Hay for an Indian Taco, soda, and visit the Hay Zoo or challenge the 250 bale Hay Maze.  Tens of thousands travel here to tour the Montana Bale Trail each year.
     It is the centerpiece of a fall celebration of culture weekend with Chokecherry Festival Saturday in Lewistown and Sunday celebrating What the Hay and the Utica Days Festival.   This year featured nearly 60 entries.  We had beautiful weather (low 80s) as we arrived in Hobson, picked up our ballots and set out for our country drive of fun and adventure.  The drive took us about 2 hours considering photography, traffic, and a stop for lunch at the Oxen Yoke Inn.  We took nearly 40 shots of the art that intrigued us.  Here is just a sampling of those. 
        It was a fun day overall....except for the 1 pound burger my eyes told me I could handle for lunch in Utica.  It was inevitable, but tomorrow we turn the wheels and head towards the Kalkaska Ponderosa......not in any hurry though.  

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