Category: Jack Blog!

Demo derby to benefit firefighters

For most of our lives, August in Missoula meant one thing and one thing only: Fair season!

Today, however, we experience another less fortunate association when someone mentions the month of August: Fire season.

And while the fair gets better and better every year (free admission, anyone?) it seems like the fires get worse: Earlier breakouts, thicker smoke, more evacuations and, worst of all, increased firefighter injuries and fatalities.

20526030_10155694536400625_17888284464083652_nSince the fair dust and fire smoke are already intermingled in our heads and lungs, it only make since we formally lump them in our hearts as well.

With that, we’re excited to announce the annual Demolition Derby will be expanded into a two-event show benefiting the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which assists families of firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.

The Put Out the Peaks Motor Rally will still happen in the arena on the final day of fair week, but this year there will be derby’s at both 4 pm and 8:30 pm – and a portion of proceeds will go directly to the foundation.

“Firefighters are risking their lives so we can enjoy summer traditions like the fair,” said fairgrounds director Emily Bentley. “Honoring their sacrifice – and the sacrifice their families make – is the least we can do.”

Attendance will be $16 per show, with each scheduled to last about two hours. You can pick up your tickets in advance HERE.

Or … you can try your luck at a free pair through our Facebook page!

If it would encourage you to invite along a few paying friends – or at least make it easier to put money in the boot when it’s passed around – we’d be more than happy to get you to the show.

Thanks to you for listening, thanks to the firefighters – and their families – for their sacrifice – here’s to more fair dust, and less fire smoke, for all the Augusts to come!

Sure, there’s carnival rides. Even a demolition derby, cute lil’ bunnies and three days of rodeo.

But everyone knows the best part about the Western Montana Fair isn’t in the arena, livestock stalls or exhibition buildings.

asdfNope, the reason you’ll see us lined up outside the gates when they open is quite simple: It’s the food.

So when we heard admission to the fair would be free every day, we didn’t get excited about the extra cash for rides. We started drooling over vikings, tater pigs, fry bread, deep fried Oreo cookies and the lot.

We’re talking about lunch, ya’ll.

Our favorite hour of the day just got sweeter because now, or at least for one glorious week in August, we can gain free access to the best food under the sun. Get in, chow down, maybe pet a pig or two, and back to the office.

And STILL head back later that night for the rides and rodeos.

Friends, we’ve been dieting all year for this, and we hope you’ll join us. Let’s make it a lunch date. And a dinner date. Shoot, we might even have to hit ’em up for some breakfast …

The Western Montana Fair runs Aug. 8-13. Tune in and follow us on Facebook for lots of great giveaways in the coming two weeks.!

Click HERE for all the fair information you need, including a schedule of events and a map.

And here’s what you’ve been waiting for – the complete list of food vendors and menu items for this year’s fair:


Check out the fair menu!
We have a winner!

We recently called on all our local JackFM listeners to hit us with their best ‘Missoula’ shot for a chance to win a concert ticket package, and boy did you deliver!

We received nearly 100 unique entries, with photos ranging from majestic mountaintop shots to  personal stories to the cheeky “only in Missoula” types.

Needless to say, picking a winner was hard.

We like to draw our winners randomly, but for this contest we wanted to give a bonus boost to those with great photos. So this time we picked a small number range randomly, and then from those selections picked our favorite photo.

We’re excited to announce Donna Mitchell as our winner. Donna sent in what appears to be a beautiful retro-style wedding photo shot at the grizzly bear statue on the UM campus.

It’s uniquely Missoula for two reasons: One, it depicts the gorgeous campus, including Main Hall and the zigzag trail up to the M. But also, it captures love. With all the bitterness and in-fighting and fear going on in the world today, there’s plenty to celebrate about small moments of serenity like this.

So congrats, Donna, and thank you for participating. We will be blowing this up into a high-quality print and framing it over at Frame of Mind, and in addition to free tickets to see Melissa Etheridge and Pat Benatar at the new Kettlehouse Amphitheater we’ll also award you a $50 gift certificate to the gallery.

Below is a gallery of some of the other finalists. Check ’em out!

Missoula is known for a lot of good things, but chief among them is our willingness to look out for our neighbors in need.

Unfortunately, now is one of those times.

Eight-year-old Lolo resident Carli Miller was killed on Highway 93 earlier this month when her family’s vehicle was struck head-on by a pickup truck.

22343108_1500344664.7501The Millers were headed out to enjoy one of this region’s greatest summer pastimes – a day of huckleberry-picking. And now their lives will never be the same.

In addition to Carli’s tragic death, several other family members were hospitalized with serious injuries. And so now in addition to their heartbreak, they also face financial crisis.

Only time will help soften the former; but for the latter we as a community can do a lot to make things easier.

A benefit fundraiser has been set up for Aug. 6, 2-7 pm at Roper’s Lounge, 10565 US Highway 12. It will feature live music by Zoo City as well as lots of opportunities to contribute financially through live and silent auctions, raffles, etc.

But there’s another way you can pitch in, especially if you own or operate a business or organization: Consider donating to the auctions and raffles.

Art, furniture, trips, construction items, athletic gear – even gift baskets of food, coffee, drinks, gift certificates. Anything you can give up, Miller’s supporters will gladly come and pick up.

All you have to do is call Frank at Ropers Lounge. That’s 273-4848.

If you are inclined to drop your donations off, however, you don’t have to take them all the way to Lolo. Drop-sites have been set up at two Missoula businesses: Garden City Plumbing, 4025 Flynn Lane; and Western Title & Escrow, 1200 S Reserve, Suite M.

Nothing eases the pain of tragedy, but a lot can ease the unnecessary inconveniences that come along with it.

Thank you, Missoula, for stepping up to the plate!

Help a neighbor in crisis
New fire restrictions

The City of Missoula has put Stage II fire restrictions into effect beginning at midnight tonight.

The limitations are designed to prevent the sparking of new wildfires as the region continues to experience very dry, hot conditions with low relative humidity.

fire-restrictionsThe decision follows Missoula County Fire Protection Association’s motion to increase the county’s fire danger index to “extreme” on Monday.

State II restrictions affect users of any city open space and conservation lands, including Mount Jumbo, Mount Sentinel (including the Cox Property), the North Hills, the Kim Williams Trail, Greenough Park and the Tower Street conservation area.

The restrictions prohibit campfires and limit smoking in these areas except within an enclosed vehicle or building or while stopped in an area that is clear of flammable materials in a three-foot radius.

The restrictions also prohibit the following activities between 1 pm and 6 am:

• operating motorized vehicles off designated road and trails;

• operating any internal combustion engine;

• operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, including any welding; and

• using any sorts of explosives.

Click HERE for maps of the areas impacted by these restrictions.

Also, please continue to monitor InciWeb for live updates on area wildfires, and for air quality information keep checking the county’s air quality website.