By Sherry Vogel
Ekalaka, Montana was presented Montana’s 2017 ‘Event of the Year’ award, at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation banquet, held in Helena on March 13.
This small community, south of Fallon County, was recognized for their annual ‘Dino Shindig’, a celebration of everything dinosaur. This summer event, which was first organized by Ekalaka native Nathan Carroll, is sponsored by the Carter County Museum at the end of July each year.
Chief among the offerings of the two-day celebration are world famous paleontologists who share their knowledge and expertise of dinosaurs. Other fun activities, for kids and family members alike, are field trips to prospect for fossils in the Pierre Shale and Hell Creek Formations, a demonstration of paleo-Indian tools, a bat walk, and a guided walking tour through Medicine Rocks State Park. The first evening winds down with lively music as dino diggers and locals enjoy a street dance on Main Street.
Ekalaka epitomizes the Tourism Award as they represent the outstanding work of communities, businesses, organizations and people who strengthen Montana’s tourism industry and thereby contribute to maximizing its economic impact for Montana residents.
Governor Bullock, who joined attendees in honoring the nominees and the winners stated, “Tourism is a crucial part of Montana’s economy and supports thousands of Main Street businesses in the state.” He added. “I’m happy to recognize these businesses that show some of the amazing things that our state has to offer visitors and residents alike.”
Other nominees for the 2017 Event of the Year award were: Evening at the Arch in Gardiner, the Big Sky PBR in Red Lodge and the Run to the Pub in Bozeman.
Other winners at the Montana Tourism Awards receiving honors are:
Marketing Campaign of the Year: Butte, Elevated.
Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award: Fort Benton Museum
Community of the Year: Livingston
Tourism Ambassador: Jocelyn Dodge, Butte.
Area residents remember to mark your calendars for July 29-30, so you won’t miss the state award winning ‘Dino Shindig’ event this summer.
Congratulations to our neighbors to the south. We salute you for helping to put our little corner of Montana on the world map.