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Update on the new East Helena Rodeo Grounds

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Posted at 6:39 PM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 20:39:20-05

EAST HELENA — After six decades, the East Helena Rodeo Grounds will be moving to a new location and organizers hope the big move, will also offer a big opportunity.

The East Helena rodeo grounds used to be on Montana Environmental Trust land, but when that land was sold for industrial use the rodeo had to look for a new spot.

About three months ago, the City of East Helena gave them a 20-acre spot to be used for the new rodeo site.

According to East Helena Rodeo Association officials, this new location will allow them to do more.

“Instead of having just a three-day rodeo, we can have rodeos every weekend, barrel racing. We can do whatever we want on this property in the future. It will be ours to use and the communities,” said Kris Bakke, the Chairman of the Board for the EHVRA.
 
The rodeo is a big event in East Helena and Lewis and Clark County.

Rodeo Association officials say their goal is to have the new site ready for the rodeo in July.

Construction on the arena and other infrastructure will start when the weather improves.

“When Helena Sand brings our arena over and gets that in the ground then we can start building on to that,” Bakke said.

After this year’s rodeo, the association says they want to expand activities at the rodeo grounds.

“We’re just hoping to have a rodeo in July, then next year hopefully add some building for 4-H, plug-ins for RV, future horse trailers for different events,” said Bakke.

The whole project to construct the new rodeo grounds is expected to cost one million dollars.

The Rodeo Association is in the process of applying for grants to help with funding.

There is also a free benefit coming up at the Kleffner Ranch to raise money to support the project on May 18.