Montana Bale Trail celebrates 28th annual "What the Hay" contest - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Montana Bale Trail celebrates 28th annual "What the Hay" contest

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According to organizers of the 28th annual Montana Bale Trail, the "What the Hay" contest is a unique attraction that draws a large crowd every year.

On Sunday, more than 5,000 attendees strolled past the 50 hay bale sculptures on the highway between Utica and Hobson.

The Montana Bale Trail began as a prank among local farmers nearly three decades ago.

Now, many businesses and organizations from around the region pitch in to bring the Bale Trail to life every year. 

The bales are artistic and often involve a clever name and theme. 

The contest happens in conjunction with the Utica Days Fair, which is also the halfway point of the Bale Trail.

Organizers said while the event does bring a boost to the local economy, it's more about having fun and celebrating the agricultural tradition of the area. 

"I think it's a very family-friendly event for sure. Also, it's also just a celebration of the end of harvest if you will. We're a very ag-related community," Coordinator Liz Carr said. "It's something fun for the entire community to do to kind of showcase our towns to the rest of Montana."

Here’s a list of the top ten winners of the 2017 Montana Bale Trail / What The Hay competition:

1.  Super Mario Bales - Nate Carr & Josh Burnham

2.  One Cute PupHay - Hobson Class of 2024

3.  Wile E. Coyot'hay - Staci Auck

4.  Hayd'n to Jordan/Mini Load for Fire - Don Derks

5.  Ice'hay'ge, Wool-hay Mammoth - Triangle Communications

6.  Bale-O-Matic - Clint Carr

7.  Monster Tiger Musk'hay - Carter Derks/Heath Drivdahl

8.  So ShinHay - E. Olson & M. Deupree Families

9.  Hot Tom'hay'to - Chloe Derks

10.  Trolls Princess Popp'hay - Judy Mikkelsen

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