The recently completed Western Montana Fair may have celebrated it's 100th anniversary, but it was the very first year for Fair Director Todd Garrett.

One of the challenges Garrett had to face was a potentially dangerous situation involving food provided by North Star Amusement  at their commercial food booths, after three of the vendors had to be shut down on Friday by the Missoula City County Health Department. Garrett said he and other fair officials are looking into the possibility of hosting the carnival, bu t eliminating the commercial food vendors.

"I would like to explore options that would mandate only our local fair concessions during the fair," Garrett said. "There are a number of reasons. First, all the proceeds would go back to our local nonprofits, and second, carnivals have other ways to make profits than by selling food. In addition to the rides, they have the games and the novelty sales. Whether we would be able to get a carnival bid without those food concessions, I'm not sure, but I would like to entertain that option."

Garrett said the Missoula fair is in the second year of a three year contract with Northstar Amusements.

"With that in mind right now, our best option is to work with our local health department to provide North Star with the information and training they need, and work more closely with them, so we don't have the same problems we had this year," he said.

Despite the problems with commercial food vendors and that fact that an exotic animal display closed during the event, Garrett said this year's fair has been complimented as being the cleanest on record, and, despite all the other entertainment events in town during fair week, such as the Paul McCartney and ZZ Top - Jeff Beck concerts, that attendance was actually up slightly from last year.

Western Montana Fair Director Todd Garrett

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