Last weekend was VCs annual “Winter Fest”. As I passed through town I noticed the crowd and stopped to see what was happening. The festivities were great fun and after a couple beers my fishing lust waned and I stayed a while to enjoy small town Montana culture and hospitality.
The festival revolves mainly around a broomball tournament. I don’t know if broomball is played elsewhere, probably not. It’s like hockey, played on a hockey rink, but no skates, a volleyball instead of a puck, and few rules. Well, there are rules but they aren’t taken seriously. It was warm Saturday, almost 60 so the ice was mostly slush. Warm enough that dehydration was a problem for both spectators and competitors, solved with copious quantities of a “sports drink” that looked a lot like beer.
Along with broomball there was a race called “dog in a wheelbarrow” which involves running down the middle of Main Street with, you guessed it, a dog in a wheelbarrow. I turns out most dogs don’t like riding in wheelbarrows. The races went on for half an hour, no serious injuries. Although on Main Street on a Saturday, the races never had to be halted to let traffic pass. I asked how they got permission to run the races on Main Street (the police station was just a block away). The answer, “we find it’s better if we don’t ask”!
Between events everyone gathered in the Pioneer Bar, which has been operating since 1867, which is about when people first started living in that part of Montana. Great place.