We may each need a palm pilot or a personal scheduler to navigate this action-packed weekend in Billings. So many sports, arts and fun events are jammed into these three days that the hardest decision for many of us will be choosing what to do first, second, third …
Balloon pilots were scheduled to be up before sunrise this morning for the launch of the Big Skyfests first competitive race. A record high number of 55 balloons entered the annual Skyfest, which is based at Oscars Park west of town. If you didnt make the launch, keep your eyes on the sky for a glimpse of those colorful, floating orbs. Weather permitting, other balloon launches are scheduled for 6:45 tonight and Saturday night and 6:45 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Nearly 12,000 athletes are expected to participate in the 16th annual Big Sky State Games, which kicks off at 6:30 tonight with a 5K road race starting and ending at Daylis Stadium. Opening ceremonies after the race will feature the parade of athletes and the symbolic lighting of the torch by Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold-medal wrestler from Afton, Wyo. Then well have two full days of serious fun with competition in events ranging from archery and basketball to volleyball and wrestling at venues throughout the Billings area. Details are in a special section in todays Gazette and online at www.bigskygames.org.
Take a break between state games competitions and check out Summerfair. The annual outdoor arts and crafts festival is a two-day fund-raiser for the Yellowstone Art Museum. Summerfair opens at 10 a.m. Saturday at a new location, Montana State University-Billings.
Still looking for fun to fill your weekend?
Head for Homesteader Days in Osborn Park, located between Huntley and Worden. Saturday events are highlighted by a parade at 11:30 a.m., 4-H livestock competitions, a carnival, barbecue, evening concert and teen dance. Homesteader Days continue on Sunday.
Baseball fans can take in Legion ballgames at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Cobb Field.
Yellowstone Valley Far-mers Market makes its seasonal debut at Second Avenue North and North Broadway. The opening bell will be at 8:30 a.m. with closing at noon. Check out this downtown street market for fresh produce and delicious food from area growers and chefs.
Venture Theatre, 1420 Central, is performing Taming of the Shrew in a Mafia setting at 8 p.m. tonight and Sunday and at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Junior National Hereford Expo continues at MetraPark this weekend with young people from across the United States and Western Canada showing 900 entries.
If your children have been complaining theres nothing to do, show them todays Gazette. Theres something for every taste in the weekend medley of entertainment and competition. Dive in, take off, browse, shop and have fun. Dont let all the excitement pass you by.