Back in March, Carter County Museum (CCM) was recognized at the Montana Governor’s Conference and the Dino Shindigwas named Event of the Year by Montana’s Office of Tourism and Event Development. Last week, the museum won big again.
Red Ants Pants, a Montana company that makes workwear clothing for women, was founded by Sarah Calhoun in 2006. In 2011, Calhoun started the Red Ants Pants Foundation which supports women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Foundation grants are supported by proceeds from the Red Ants Pants Music Festival which is held every summer near White Sulphur Springs.
Earlier this year, Calhoun was one of the speakers at the Soil-to-Skillet workshop put on by Fallon/Carter Extension and was in the area. It was then that CCM Director Sabre Moore learned about the grant and applied.
The 2016 Red Ants Pants Music Festival generated $19,000 in grant money. Last week, that money was awarded to thirteen recipients.
Some of the grant recipients include The C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, The Golden Valley Community Foundation in Ryegate, and The Crazy Peak Cattle Women in Melville. CCM received the largest of the grants awarded this year, $4,300.
The money from the grant was promptly used to purchase a powerful microscope that will be used to study amber containing ancient insects and plants from the Hell Creek formation. Some of these ancient insects and plants date back to the late cretaceous period. Previously, amber was sent away to be studied, but now-with a new high-tech microscope-it can be done right here in Ekalaka.
CCM Director Sabre Moore is hopeful that the microscope will be in town and operational in time for the Shindig, which is set to take place next weekend, July 29 and 30.
Besides a new microscope, there will be plenty to see and do at the 5th Annual Shindig next weekend.
Registration for the Shindig Fossil Expedition on Sunday is closed, but those who did not register may still attend a 60th Anniversary Celebration at Medicine Rocks from 10am to 2pm. The celebration will include a Crow Nation group drum performance and talks from Thomas Holtz, Tim Urbaniak, and Arch Ellwein as Teddy Roosevelt.
Of course, Saturday in Ekalaka will be busy as well. Renowned speakers including Greg Liggett, Katie Tremain, Lydia Tackett, Holly Woodward Ballard, Alida Baileul, Jingmai O’Connor, and more will be presenting throughout the day.
If that isn’t enough to peak interest, the museum will host kids activities from 9am to 2pm. Some of these activities include Dino mini-golf, Tricera-“toss,” and even a scavenger hunt.
Live painting, sculpting, and taxidermy demonstrations will be taking place from 9am to 3pm.
Idaho Museum of Natural History will be holding a virtualization lab booth from 9am to 2pm.
Atlatl lessons and a Robo Rex bite force demonstration will be held midday and a barbecue lunch will be served by the Wagon Wheel.
In the evening a speaker round table will take place at the museum and at 9pm a bat walk will commence.
Starting at 7pm, Screen Door Porch will put on a dance at Dawg House Pub.
Last-but certainly not least-from 9am to 2pm the new microscope will be used for “Amber Quest.” Thanks to the Red Ants Pants Foundation, it is just one more reason for people from all over the world to visit Carter County Museum, not just during the Shindig, but all year long.
Stop in at the museum or visit cartercountymuseum.org for a full schedule of Shindig events.