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2017 Demonstrations

Between the music, snap shirts, and beer, please make a point to check out our demo area. Each day between the acts on Main Stage we’ll be profiling traditional agricultural and work skills. It is a celebration of rural Montana, old-fashioned hard work, and excellent craftsmanship.


Trailer Backing 101: Friday, July 28th 5:00 PMish

Sharon Brodie grew up in Fairfield, Montana.  Her dad told her she was not allowed to pull the horse trailer until she could parallel park with the truck and trailer.  And it was a stick shift. Come learn the fundamentals of this very useful skill, so next time you need to haul horses, tow an airstream, or back a drift boat into the Yellowstone, you will have the skills!

Ranch Roping 101: Friday, July 28th 6:30 PMish

Thad Hereim and family of White Sulphur Springs, Montana are back again demonstrating how to train and work a ranch horse. Thad will demonstrate how to rope longhorn cattle.  And if you’re ready to try your hand at roping, Thad will be happy to do some hands-on instruction at the end of the demo!

Crosscut Competition Practice Time: Saturday, July 29th 11:00 AM

Getting ready to enter the famous Red Ants Pants Crosscut Competition on Sunday? Now is your chance to get some practice, try out our saws, and find a partner if you still need one.  Did we mention there are great prizes? You could win a weekend pass to the 2018 Festival! Beginners welcome and encouraged!

Biodiesel in Montana: Saturday, July 29th 1:00 PMish

Learn how to make biodiesel from used or new vegetable oil. This hands-on demonstration includes making a batch of biodiesel with the audience and time for Q & A with Matt Elsaesser, who has worked with biodiesel for more than a decade in Montana.

Historic Window Preservation: Saturday, July 29th 2:30 PMish 

The folks from the Montana Preservation Alliance will demonstrate traditional techniques for repairing and restoring historic windows.  Through this demonstration they’ll share their passion for traditional craftsmanship and committed efforts to help save and keep the things that make Montana great.  They’ll also be available to answer questions about your historic buildings and help you find ways to keep them around.

Axe Throwing 101: Saturday, July 29th 4:00 PMish

Learn axe throwing skills from a professional lumberjack! Have you ever wondered how to get that old double-bit axe to stick in a round of wood? It’s not as easy as you may think. Brad French is a forester for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) in Kalispell. He has competed in professional timber sport events since 2006.

Mule Packing 101: Saturday, July 29th 6:00 PMish

The gals from Dropstone Outfitting, Maggie Carr and Yve Bardwell, will demonstrate how to pack a mule using a decker saddle and a saw buck. They will review how to many a load, throw basket and barrel hitches, and string a line of stock together for backcountry travel.  It should be noted that they are also Red Ants Pants Foundation 2016 Grant Winners, the largest grant ever gifted…to buy a new mule for their operation!  And they are the only female-owned outfitters in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.  You will love them.

Crosscut Competition Preliminaries: Sunday, July 30th 11:00 AM

This festival favorite is back again! Come cheer on these folks as they saw their hearts out. Anyone over 18 may participate. Long pants, shoes, and gloves required (we have extra gloves to borrow). Women’s, men’s, and co-ed divisions. Sign up at the Red Ants Pants Foundation booth, located adjacent to the demo area. Preliminaries are Sunday at 11:00 AM. Finals are Sunday at 2:00 PM.

Timber Skills! Crosscuts, Chainsaws, and Carpentry: Sunday, July 30th 1:00 PMish

Want to see a little bit of what the Red Ants Pants Timber Skills Workshop* is all about? Come check out our instructors demonstrating some basic cross cut and chainsaw skills. Thank you also to STIHL for sponsoring our Timber Skills Workshops.

*The Red Ants Pants Foundation puts on a Women’s Timber Skills course each fall in White Sulphur: Sept 21-24, 2017, Chainsaw 101 or Carpentry 101.  Spots still available. Sign up at the Foundation booth! More info at

Crosscut finals: Sunday, July 30th 2:30 PMish 

Huge thanks to Red Lodge Mountain for their sponsorship of this event. They don’t want to brag, but we will for them…their trail crew gals are four-time winners! Winners of the Crosscut Competition will receive a day pass to Red Lodge Mountain and a weekend pass to the 2018 Red Ants Pants Music Festival. Buck yeah.


Special Events



Saturday, July 29th 8:00 AM @ Main Festival Entrance

Hosted by the extraordinary photographer and running enthusiast Erik Petersen, the third annual Ants In Your Pants Fun Run will begin Saturday morning at 8:00 AM at the Main Festival Entrance Gate. Runners and walkers will enjoy a relatively flat 6K course on dirt roads with Red Ants Pants prizes at the finish! Free and available to all festivalgoers!


Saturday, July 29th and Sunday, July 30th 9:00 AM @ field north of festival campground

Guided by Livingston yogi and ultrarunner Alyssa Davis, yoga will be held both Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM on the north side of the campground, just east of the path to the festival grounds. Alyssa teaches with an anusara yoga style and brings an athletic flavor and playfulness to her classes. Bring your own water, mat, or find your flow in the field!


Saturday, July 29th 11:00 AM

The fourth annual Red Ants Pants Beard and Moustache Competition will be the biggest competition to date! The highly decorated national champion, Steffen Rasile, will host the event.

Compete in one of five categories: Best Moustache, Best Partial Beard, Best Full Beard, Most Creative Freestyle Beard and Most Creative Craft Beard (for all those who are facial hair challenged). Get your beard brushed out, your moustache curled, or your own beard-like creation built.

Competitors will be judged on how well their facial hair enhances their overall appearance, style, and personality. In the freestyle categories the judges will be asked to consider originality as well as creativity.


Sunday, July 30th 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Help the White Sulphur Springs Senior Class raise money. Look for signs as you head back through town to get your RV, truck, car, or sheep wagon dust-free after the Fest!




Friday, July 28th – Sunday, July 30th 3:00 PM

This silent auction is not to be missed! Come check out incredible prizes from our sponsors including a Cabinet Hunting Pack from Mystery Ranch, gift basket from Headframe Spirits, beautiful handmade bar from our 2016 Timber Skills Carpentry Workshop, and two framed, talent-signed 2016 Festival posters! Get in your bids before 3pm on Sunday! All proceeds go to the Foundation.



Friday, July 28th – Sunday, July 30th

We are thrilled that MSU Extension is coordinating the Montana Community Story Project through StoryCorps. Using a framework developed by StoryCorps, the national project to instruct and inspire people to record each other’s stories in sound, stories will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. for future generations. Come share your stories of rural America with Foundation Board Member Amy Coseo!



Friday, July 28th – Sunday, July 30th

We are thrilled to be joined by our friends Sprouse & Neuhoff Photography – famed for capturing and celebrating relationships and lives well-lived. They will be traveling the Festival grounds snapping unforgettable images of the extraordinary supporters of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. These images will be available to you and can be sent straight to your phones/email for just $5 each. 100% of the dollars earned through these picture sales will go right back into your community via the Red Ants Pants Foundation, and thus, to support working family farms and ranches in rural communities.



Friday, July 28th – Sunday, July 30th

Jim Dolan is a metal sculptor based out of Bozeman, MT. For the past 40 years, Jim has created over 170 large-scale public pieces world-wide as well as hundreds of private pieces. Jim has shared a beautiful piece to grace our Festival grounds up by the food vendors. Please enjoy!



Hey parents! Stop by the kids’ tent for fun, educational activities and crafts! For parents with wee ones, it is a great place to rest in the shade. Changing table, baby potties, and feeding area will be available. Thanks to our premier sponsor, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund, this year we’ve teamed up with the White Sulphur Springs FFA, Women’s Foundation of Montana, and Montana Discovery Foundation to provide more fun opportunities for the kids to learn. Please note: the kids’ tent is not a babysitting service. This is not a place to drop off your kiddos. There is a clear view of the main stage from the tent, so stick around and listen while your kids are learning, playing, and crafting!

In addition to our special events below, join us for these fun activities from 3pm-6pm Friday, 11am-6pm Saturday, and 11am-5pm Sunday! Face painting, book corner, wildflower activities, coloring, and more fun hands-on art and learning activities!


White Sulphur Springs FFA Chapter

FFA is a vocational organization for students interested in agriculture and leadership. The letters “FFA” stands for Future Farmers of America. FFA also welcomes members who aspire to careers as doctors, teachers, business owners, scientists, and more. FFA helps to develop students’ unique talents and explore their interests in an agriculture career.

Petting Zoo: Friday, July 28th 3:00 PM

New for 2017, the local White Sulphur Springs FFA Chapter will host a petting zoo near the kids’ tent. A past Red Ants Pants Grant recipient, this high school chapter will bring their livestock to be enjoyed by all.  The FFA members will help kids and adults feel comfortable around the animals, offering tips for how to pet and interact with them.


Montana Discovery Foundation

The Montana Discovery Foundation teaches students of all ages about natural resources on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. We aim to promote stewardship, understanding, and enjoyment of our natural surroundings through education. Come to the kids’ tent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to participate in the following MDF programs. To learn more about MDF, visit:

Explore Fire Science: Friday, July 28th 5:00 PM

Become a fire scientist – perform experiments to understand the way fire works and what it needs to live! We’ll learn about wildland fire in Montana and some easy ways to be safe with fire.

Going on a Bear Hunt, with a Red Ant Craft Bonus: Saturday, July 29th 4:30 PM

Forage like bears to learn about a bear’s favorite foods, how they eat, and the challenges they face when living near people.

Edible Anthills: Sunday, July 30th 2:30 PM

Learn about the incredible science behind ant colonies – then create a delicious snack anthill!


Shooting Star Saddlery

Dedicated to making the finest, heirloom-quality saddles, chaps, gun leather, and personal items from the finest leathers available. Out of Niarada, MT, Jeff Morrow builds everything from custom saddles to guitar covers…just ask Corb!

Kid’s Leather Stamping Class: Saturday, July 29th 11:00 AM
Learn about the fun and art of leather stamping with one of our longest-serving Festival vendors! Jeff will lead kids six-years-old and up in a great project to create their own stamped leather bracelets.


Women’s Foundation of Montana

The Women’s Foundation of Montana leverages donations through our endowment to advance economic independence for women and girls, funding research, entrepreneurship, STEM projects for girls, and more.  Our new PowerHouse Montana platform connects women to mentors and resources at Learn more at Because when women prosper, communities thrive!

Towers, Winches, and Catapults: Saturday, July 30th 3:00 PM

Design what? Join the Women’s Foundation of Montana in fun, hands-on engineering challenges for kids and adults.  Learn about levers, gears, and more. Test your new skills by building a simple machine from upcycled materials!


Prairie Handspinning

Located next to the Kids’ Tent all weekend long, come see the ladies from Prairie Handspinners demonstrate how to spin wool into yarn.  This traditional skill is not only beautiful to watch, but neat to see the process from a sheep to a sweater! Stop by anytime and learn more about the upcoming Fiber Fest in Billings: