America's Wackiest State Fair Contests
Courtesy of the Montana State Fair
Ole Cow 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.
When: late July