Building A Cre-HAY-tion for Montana Bale Trail – What The Hay

I will admit – I love everything about this event! It’s fun to do a haybale entry for the Montana Bale Trail, it’s fun to see what other people create and it’s fun to take in the craft fair, good food and scenery. Each year I start thinking a few months ahead of the event to come up with an idea.

The idea I had for this year was good, however, I couldn’t quite plot out the execution. I need to get an engineer involved, or, a farmer that can estimate the weight of the different shaped bales. I’ll get this idea done one of these years although I’m not revealing it yet.

This year I had three people help with painting the bale entry and one hard-working farmer who stacked the bales.

The idea we used came from one of my board members who suggested we paint an outline of the state of Montana and then write across it “Last Best Pla-HAY-ce”. It seemed simple and it certainly stated our love for the area. Nine rectangular bales (farmers call these square bales…go figure) were stacked in three rows. We had one very artistic fellow who did the shape of Montana. It looked so good we asked him to do the lettering across the bales and the rest of the painting group just filled in it!

We also did a smaller entry of seven rectangular bales and wrote Welcome to Central Montana on it. I did that lettering and, note to self, measure how much space you need for each letter. We almost had to drag some more bales over to finish the wording!

The day we painted our bales was gorgeous – look at those cotton ball clouds! The temp was low to mid seventies, perfect fall weather, and there was a gentle breeze.

The Montana Bale Trail:What The Hay is an annual event that happens the first Sunday after Labor Day each year. The paved route is between Hobson, Utica and Windham, accessible off US Hwy 87/200. There is no charge to attend and you can vote for your favorite entry. The bales usually stay up about a week, depending on the weather, so some people make the drive later to avoid the crowds. You wouldn’t see the craft fair and food booths after Sunday but there is some yummy food available in the three small communities.

Now, I’m making notes on my calendar after seeing all of this year’s cre-hay-tivity. Next year’s bale entry is already forming in my mind!


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