The Montana State Fair is a highlight of the summer for many residents in Great Falls and for that matter the entire state of Montana. Thousands of people each year walk through the gates to experience all the sights, sounds and food offered for those 9 days the fair runs.

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There used to be one night though that was easily the best night of the fair, and I think it's time we bring it back.


I'm of course talking about Rock N Ride. That first night of the fair was honestly the best night to go. It's not like the fair doesn't have a first night anymore, but it's just not the same in my opinion.

All the rides were going and that was all we needed.  Most of the booths weren't open, and vendors were still setting up. It was just about the rides, the food, and the music.


I only got to experience a few years of the Rock N Ride, but they were glorious. I was just starting out in my radio career and I'd get to go out and spend 5 hours on the midway broadcasting live. I would get to talk with all the people that previously had only been faceless voices on the request line.


On the other side, for you guys it was a great way to go out, get dressed up and hang out with your friends for hours on end. You could eat way too much junk food, make yourself dizzy on the rides, and just feel carefree in the heat of the summer night.

The last Rock N Ride was maybe the best one ever. The Plain White T's were blowing up that summer with their hit "Hey There Delilah," and we had booked them to play the Rock N Ride earlier that spring. It was perfect timing, and a perfect way to end what was the once the best night of the Montana State Fair.

Keep Reading: Take A Virtual Tour of the Montana State Fair

Come along with Nick Northern, as he documents his day at the Montana State Fair.

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