Great Plains Dinosaur Museum

A young girl examines drawings of dinosaurs at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta.

What do a Dodge and a duck-billed dinosaur have in common?

Aside from a shared first letter, both will be on display during a busy weekend in Malta on June 8 and 9 that features a dinosaur celebration, a classic car show and drag racing.

Over the course of two days, Malta will see the Montana Dinosaur Festival, the First State Bank Car Show and races courtesy of Phillips County Motorsports, which are expected to draw hundreds of people to town.

"It's just a big weekend for everybody," said Terry Skones, First State Bank's vice president. "It works really well and it brings a lot of people to town."

On June 8, the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum will hold its annual dinosaur festival on First Avenue, with a focus on providing a good time for kids.

Admission is free and it will feature lots of activities and displays geared toward the younger set. For $5 participants can purchase a rubber ducky for a duck race to held in town, with winners being awarded a portion of the pot.

In addition, the museum's regular displays, including replicas of Leonardo the duck-billed dinosaur and Julie the raptor, will be on hand.

"We've just got all kinds of programs and displays for the kids," said Carolyn Schmoeckel, president of the Judith River Foundation, which runs the museum. "It's a small museum but what we do have is very unique."

Also held throughout the day, the First State Bank Car show will feature about 100 classic, modern and unique cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Held each year in downtown Malta, the show will take place along Front Street and First Avenue and begins with registration at 10 a.m.

The show begins officially at noon and draws people from a five-state region, as well as Canada, to show off their hot rods and choppers.

"Rain or shine, we'll go on with it," Skones said. "Car show people don't really mind the weather. They just love cars and and we invite everybody to come on down for it."

During the day Saturday, food and gift vendors and booths will be set up along Malta's downtown streets during the events and local businesses will have their doors open to visitors.

After the car show wraps up, the action heads just outside of town for the drag races, sponsored by Phillips County Motorsports.

They'll do a few test runs at the drag strip, south of Malta along Highway 191 at 1320 Power Lane, before the bulk of the races start up Sunday.

"We go all day Sunday at the track and, weather permitting, we'll have 80 or 100-plus cars," said Sharon Kindle, Phillips County Motorsports secretary. "This is the culmination of the weekend."

Kindle said a large part of Phillips County Motorsports — outside of the racing — is promoting tourism, providing scholarships and putting money back into the community. With the races in June combining with the other events for the weekend, it's one of their biggest events of the year.

"It's just a huge, huge benefit to our community," she said.

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