Sanders County Fair

30 River Road
Plains, MT 59859


The Sanders County Fair began in 1911 with a community horse race. Participants included ladies and gentlemen from the town of Plains, as well as ladies and gentlemen from the reservation. In that day, settler ladies rode side saddle while their Native American conterparts rode astride! For a number of years horse racing and horsemanship were a major part of the fair.

As the years passed, rodeos, carnivals and dances were added to the options provided to visitors. The parade organized during fair weekend became a favorite, especially as participants included such things as new-fangled automobiles and old, reliable steer-driven wagons.

Currently, the fair is one of the seven largest fairs in the state of Montana and attracts visitors from throughout western Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington. Many of our part-time residents make sure they are present during fair time. In recent years attendance has been between 30,000 and 50,000 people (which doubles and triples the population of the whole county!). It is the only fair in western Montana that does not charge a gate fee. Daily and weekly parking passes are available. Parking for camping and RVs is also available along the river front.

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