When I first heard about the event called Montana’s Longest Table I couldn’t quite visualize how they would structure it, but I knew I wanted to attend.
What is it? Two city blocks in Lewistown were closed off and long tables were placed down the middle of the streets. Area restaurants were contacted and eleven of them agreed to each make 200 samples (200 tickets were sold). The best part…they needed to use a product grown or made in Montana.
Lewistown is definitely ag country. The Lewistown Downtown Association sponsored the event with three goals – foster the relationship between ag and downtown businesses, educate the public and show the ties between ag and local businesses and finally – just to have a fun and festive event. I’d say they scored 100% on all three of those goals!
Area grocery stores donated boxes they had leftover after unpacking canned goods. We each received a “box” which was our plate or tray to gather our dinner samples. There were so many samples I had to double stack a couple and I finally moved my dessert samples to one plate. Lining each box was a large paper placemat with agriculture info and tables were decorated with jars of wheat kernels. Displays lined the streets showing products grown and produced with local products and several spinners were making yarn from sheep’s wool.
A band made up of local ranchers and businessmen, plus one young gal on vocals, played during and after dinner.
As I looked around I could see ranchers visiting with local downtown merchants, families with young children enjoying a reasonably priced meal and curious folks like me who wanted to see what Montana’s Longest Table was all about.
I hope Lewistown hosts this event next year. If so, I’ll be there.