SHERIDAN – Dozens of community members drifted in and out of the Kiwanis Park on Mill Street last weekend for the annual Sheridan Summer Festival, bringing people together from across the county to celebrate small-town rural living in Montana.
The Sheridan Summer Festival began with a parade led by members of American Legion Post 89, and continued with a fun filled day of activities for people young and old in the park. A handful of booth vendors peddled their wares while kids of all ages ran about playing on the swings, jumping in the bounce house and devouring what could have been the best snow cones in the county.
Music also echoed across the park on Saturday, ranging from local Twin Bridges band Muddkikker to Ross Stocker of Laurin, as well as a performance by legendary guitarist James Morris Pearson. While Pearson made a career out of playing lead guitar for musicians like Edgar Winter and Isaac Hayes, he enjoys the atmosphere of playing a small summer festival just as much as performing on a sold-out concert stage.
“I love towns like this,” Pearson said. “I’ve probably met about two dozen people, that they were all just so darn friendly.”
The sense of community was what stood out the most to Pearson, adding that the highlight of this event was “unquestionably” the colorful display of people.
“In a town like this its nice to see a community spirit, and its very genuine,” he said. “They understand that is OK to not only work hard and contribute to your community, but you can also help a neighbor.”
But the people were not the only colorful display in the park this weekend, as Saturday also hosted the Fourth Annual Ken Steiner Car Show. Several brightly colored automobiles sat glistening in the sun throughout the day, and for Madison County resident Greg Morgan, it couldn’t have been a nicer day to roll into town and show off his 1977 Mercedes 450 SL.
“There is no better way I think than to spend a Saturday in Sheridan, Montana,” Morgan said. “The people are friendly, the weather cooperated, and the coffee was good. It’s just a nice, laid-back whole deal.”
When he wasn’t proudly standing beside his champagne-colored Mercedes, Morgan took the opportunity to appreciate fine automobiles such as a green 1957 Chevy in mint condition and glistening black 1977 Chevy Impala SS that won best in show this year.
“I really enjoy it,” he said. “Next year I hope my wife can come with me and we can go to a half dozen of these things.”