Craig Caddist Fest

What’s More Fun Than a Celebration With Brews and Ribs, All for a Good Cause

CRAIG, MONT. — “One-second honey, Daddy’s gotta finish his ribs”

“Can you say fall off the bone?”

Walking down the short main street in Craig on Saturday, all you heard were friends catching up in between satisfied yums.

Summer is finally upon Montana, and Caddis Fest kicked it off. The festivities didn’t start until 4 p.m. so that those in attendance could fish all day before eating some darn good barbecue all afternoon. The entire event is a fundraiser for the Craig Volunteer Fire Department and the whole event was absolutely a fun-raiser.

Three little girls follow their squad leaders through an adorable routine!

After the parade, a baton-dance group stole everyone’s attention. Quite the feat with the savory smell of barbecue drifting all around! The older girls took a break from throwing their batons 15 feet in the air to teach the pre-K girls a simpler dance routine. Regardless of their age, there was a lot of giggles and wide-eyed looks at each other every time someone forgot a dance move or two.

Around the corner, the silent auction and live band were conveniently set up next to Uncle Joe’s Bar. When we went inside, we couldn’t even get to the bar to order a beer because of the crowd around the television, watching the Justify win the Preakness

Craig Caddis Fest Bar

The crowd watched Justify win the Preakness in Uncle Joe’s Bar

After the race, many of the ladies in the crowd filed back outside to join the little kids dancing in the gravel, freeing up space at the bar. But just because there was some space at the counter did not mean it was free for all! One young man was quickly reminded of manners after forgetting the please at the end of his order.

“I’m not your wife and I’m not your mother. And you better not speak to either of them that way!”

There was Miller Lites all around, including for the volunteer selling 50/50 tickets at the bar.  

Back outside, there was a hiatus from the live music for the announcement of the 50/50 winner. During the evening, it was easy to forget all this fun was raising money for a worthy cause. Caddis Fest is not simply a party!

There was a lot of anticipation surrounding the 50/50 drawing, as there always is. After a couple no-show tickets, there was finally a whoop for the middle of the crowd. The lucky winner went up to collect his winnings and just before he had the money in his hand, he donated it all back to the fire department.

Craig Caddis Fest Kid

A crowd gathered around the raffle tent. Meanwhile, a little boy pretends his hand is a fish in the puddle.

The mood was set, and generosity flowed just a deep as the river one block away. During the raffle, people we bidding themselves up just to donate more money to the fire department.

But, in the end, Montanans are still human. The man who had just won the high-bid for a guided fish trip was confronted by his wife as to what he just bought. He offered these soothing words.

“Don’t worry honey, it’ll be a guys trip”

Andie Creel

Photos by Ben Goertzen.

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