Valley Journal
Valley Journal

What's New?

Send us your news items.

NOTE: All submissions are subject to our Submission Guidelines.

Announcement Forms

Use these forms to send us announcements.

Birth Announcement

Current Events

Latest Headlines

Have old-fashioned fun in Ronan this weekend

Hey savvy news reader! Thanks for choosing local. You are now reading
1 of 3 free articles.

Subscribe now to stay in the know!

Already a subscriber? Login now

RONAN – A fun packed Pioneer Days weekend awaits community members, beginning Thursday. 

The annual celebration of Ronan promises to be a great time, with plenty of sports, rodeo, dances, foods, parades, and buffalo rides. 

“It’s one weekend that Ronan tries to all get together,” Mayor Kim Aipperspach said of the event. “We try to keep it heavy duty family stuff.” 

The mayor doesn’t know if he’ll be wearing a sheep suit or western costume like last year in an effort to sell more 50/50 drawing tickets, but is committed to raising funds for the contest, which helps pay for scholarships for local students. The scholarship program is one of many ways Pioneer Days benefits the local community. 

The Pioneer Days Company was instrumental in building the town’s baseball facility and has donated to various causes including the Ronan City Parks department and fire department. 

“If somebody comes and asks us generally come in and help,” Aipperspach said. 

The Pioneer Days Company’s next endeavor is to build a new rodeo arena, but that goal is far from being met, Aipperspach said. 

For those organizing the event, getting ready for Pioneer Days is hard work, but also lots of fun. 

Former volunteer Robin Nelson said the camaraderie between volunteers is great, as organizers go camping together and brainstorm for ideas. 

She said the volunteers usually serve many years, and Aipperspach agreed. 

Aipperspach has been serving since 1978, one year after the Pioneer Days Company took over the event from the Junior Chamber of Commerce, which hosted a similar previous celebration called The Days of ’49. His first task as a volunteer was to haul wooden outhouses from Job Corps to the event. 

Ronan resident Ralph Salomon remembers the Days of ’49 Celebration and how it morphed into the present-day celebration. 

“It used to just be a parade,” Salomon said. “It had a lot more horses than it does now.” 

Over the years he watched the event grow to include several days of fun and merge its timeline with the Lake County Fair. Salomon said he believes one of the highlights of the celebration is the rodeo. 

“We’ve probably got the best rodeo around,” Salomon said. 

 Wednesday, July 30

8:30 a.m. Judges Orientation

9 a.m. – noon Perishable Open Class Check-in

9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Swine Showmanship and Judging

3:30 p.m. Cat Show

5 p.m. Open Class Judges Orientation

5 p.m. Beef Showmanship

5 p.m. Lions Club Games

5 p.m. – 8 p.m. 4-H Family Style Dinner

5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Music – Little Big Band

6:00 p.m. – 9 p.m. Open Class Judging

7 p.m. Market Beef Judging


Thursday, July 31

8:30 a.m. Judges Orientation

9 a.m. Sheep Showmanship

10 a.m. Quilt Show

11:00 a.m. Market Sheep Judging

11:00 a.m. Market Goat Judging

12:30 p.m. Goat Showmanship and Judging

2:00 p.m. Dairy Showmanship and Judging

2:30 p.m. Poultry Showmanship and Judging

5 p.m. Fashion Revue

5:30 p.m. Buyer’s Recognition Dinner

5:30 p.m. Music – Mega Karma

5:30 p.m. Small Fry Stock zhow

7 p.m. Market Livestock Sale


Friday, Aug. 1

8 a.m. Kid’s Fishing Derby

8:30 a.m. Judges Orientation

9 a.m. Sheep Breeding

9 a.m. Beef Breeding

10 a.m. Quilt Show

11:30 a.m. Rabbit Showmanship and Judging

3 p.m. Large Animal Round Robin

5 p.m. Happy Hour with Pioneer Days

7 p.m. BBQ Smoke-off

5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 4-H/Open Class Talent Show.

7:30 p.m. Pioneer Days Bulls and Broncs Rodeo

9 p.m. – 11 p.m. 4-H Ambassadors’ Dance

9 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Street Dances: 

Free ID-Required dance at KD's Valley Club featuring "Wild Coyote"

Free family-friendly dance in front of Pheasant Lounge and 2nd Chance Saloon featuring "Last Chance"


Saturday, Aug. 2

7 a.m. VFW Pancake Breakfast

8 a.m. 3-on-3 “JAM”boree

8 a.m. Mission Mountain Classic Run

9 a.m. Ronan Airport Open House

9 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 4-H/Open Dog Rally and Agility

9 a.m. Pioneer Days Co-ed Softball

9 a.m. Pioneer Days 3 on 3 Basketball

9 a.m.  – 3 p.m. Pioneer Days Volleyball

10 a.m. Quilt Show

10 a.m. Car Show

11 a.m. Kiddie Slicker Rodeo Sign-ups 

Noon Kiddie Slicker/ City Slicker Rodeo

3:30 p.m. Small Animal Round Robin

3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Boys and Girls Club: Meat Me in Montana Smoke Off

7:30 p.m. Pioneer Days Open Rodeo and Ring of Fire

9 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. Street Dances:

Free ID-Required dance at KD's Valley Club featuring "Out of Bail"


Free family-friendly dance in front of Pheasant Lounge and 2nd Chance Saloon featuring "Six Strings & Pearls"


Sunday, Aug. 3

8:30 a.m. All Exhibits May Leave the Grounds

9 a.m. Volleyball Tourney

8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 4-H Stall & Cage Cleaning

12:30 p.m. Pioneer Days Parade

3 p.m. Pioneer Days Open Rodeo and Wild Buffalo Ride

6:30 p.m. Family Karaoke Night, KD's Valley Club – all ages welcome


Monday, Aug. 4

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 4-H Stall Cleaning


Tuesday, Aug. 5

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 4-H Stall Cleaning

Sponsored by: