• Offbeat

America's Wackiest State Fair Contests

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Courtesy of the Montana State Fair

Forget song and dance. America’s most entertaining talents are on display at these crazy state fair contests.

OleCow Lick Contest, Montana State Fair

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If the 2011 contest-winning block in this photo appears mysterious, you must not be from these parts. “All the fairgoers know what salt blocks are—we’re in Montana!” says Patty Howse, the contest’s superintendent. The heavy, often colorful bricks provide supplementary minerals to cattle and are ubiquitous in local fields and prairies. Participants enter salt blocks in one of two Ole Cow Lick contest categories: Nature Carved, blocks that cows have licked down to resemble weathered sculptures, or Hand Carved, blocks transformed into art by humans. It’s up to fairgoers to select the winners.

Where: Great Falls, MT

When: late July

America's Wackiest State Fair Contests

OleCow Lick Contest, Montana State Fair

If the 2011 contest-winning block in this photo appears mysterious, you must not be from these parts. “All the fairgoers know what salt blocks are—we’re in Montana!” says Patty Howse, the contest’s superintendent. The heavy, often colorful bricks provide supplementary minerals to cattle and are ubiquitous in local fields and prairies. Participants enter salt blocks in one of two Ole Cow Lick contest categories: Nature Carved, blocks that cows have licked down to resemble weathered sculptures, or Hand Carved, blocks transformed into art by humans. It’s up to fairgoers to select the winners.

Where: Great Falls, MT

When: late July

Courtesy of the Montana State Fair
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