demo area image

2016 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.


Bison Hide Tanning: Friday, July 29th 5:00 PMish

Come on over to the teepee long house and try your hand at fleshing bison hides.  Billy Maxwell is a true educator, ‘Prairie Materials Studies Expert’, and quite the character…you will not want to miss! Learn how to turn any large mammal hide, even roadkill(!) into elegant buckskin or parfleche.  (We had to look it up…Parfleche is a Native American rawhide bag used to hold dried meat.) Billy will also teach about one of the oldest habits in North America; making buffalo robes that are lighter than our modern sleeping bags. Yes please! Throughout the weekend come visit the long house for more excitement with Billy.

Mule Packing 101: Friday, July 29th 6:30 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.

Become a Sky Watcher with NWS: Saturday, July 30th 1:00 PM

A National Weather Service meteorologist will help build your skills as a sky watcher! From a demonstration with a weather balloon used to collect high-altitude weather data to educational materials on cloud reading and hail models. Weather enthusiasts and kids of all ages are invited to attend this educational session and ask any questions about weather forecasts and warnings.

Prairie Hand Spinning: Saturday, July 30th 2:30 PMish

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!  They will also be weaving in a tent near the demo area throughout the weekend.  Stop by anytime!

Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C): Saturday, July 30th 4:00 PMish

WD4C was founded in Montana and they continue to have a global impact from their headquarters in Bozeman. Pepin and the other WD4C dogs have put their noses to work saving wildlife and wild places on six continents. Founder Megan Parker and Pepin will demonstrate his skills and explain how a detection dog can save the world. (Learn more at

Ranch Roping 101: Saturday, July 30th 6:00 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 Preliminaries: Sunday, July 31st 11:00 AM

Back again ladies and gentlemen. 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 Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation’s vendor tent. Preliminaries are Sunday at 11:00 AM. Finals are Sunday at 2:00 PM.

Timber Skills! Cross Cuts, Chainsaws, and Carpentry: Sunday, July 31st 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 Womens’ Timber Skills course each fall in White Sulphur. Sept 15-18, 2016.  Chainsaw 101 or Carpentry 101.  Spots still available. Sign up at the Foundation booth! More info at

Crosscut finals: Sunday, July 31st 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 have who won three years running took 2015 off, but they’re back to defend their title in 2016! Winners of the Crosscut Competition will receive a day pass to Red Lodge Mountain and a weekend pass to the 2017 Red Ants Pants Music Festival. Buck yeah.


Special Events



Saturday, July 30th 8:00 AM @ Main Festival Entrance

Hosted by the extraordinary photographer and running enthusiast Erik Petersen, the second 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 festival goers!


Saturday, July 30th and Sunday, July 31st 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 30th 11:00 AM

The fourth annual Red Ants Pants Beard and Moustache Competition will be the biggest competition to date! The two-time nation gold medalist in the natural moustache catgory, John Cordes, 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.


Friday, July 29th through Sunday, July 31st

BigLife magazine is inviting all leisure sports enthusiasts to stop by their camp for a game or two. If leisure sports are not your bag, come and introduce yourself, lounge around the bus, grab a magazine, and hear more about our Jam Session Friday night!



Friday, July 29th – Sunday, July 31st
Come visit us in the Red Ants Pants Foundation booth and enjoy the new photo booth, which supports the Red Ants Pants Foundation. Props and costumes available!


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 – this year a sponsorship from Mamalode has helped us to expand our Parents’ Lounge! 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 Montana Outdoor Science School, 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, kids book corner, wildflower activities, coloring, animal furs exploration, kids roping, MOSS stream table, maze, beanbag toss, sandbox, and more…!

Montana Outdoor Science School

Get your hands messy with MOSS – planning, building, and experimenting in our 20 ft2 stream table. This oversized sandbox has a river running through it, and we will spend the weekend watching the water’s course, putting things into and taking things out of it, and building structures right into the streambed. Come find us in the kids’ tent where we will be guiding stream-related exploration on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For more information about MOSS educational programs, visit

Recipe for a River: Friday, July 29th 3:45 PM

What makes a river a river? How do rivers grow from their headwaters to their mouth, and how do they grow over time? During this investigation you will work with friends to figure out our flowing stream table, stocked with ingredients for you to create a model river. How will your river affect the land around it, and how will the land affect your river?

One drip, two drips, red drips, blue drips: Saturday, July 30th 12:00 PM

What is a watershed, and to where does all the water shed? On Saturday you will get a chance to add colorful chemicals to our stream table and observe their travel. Where does pollution come from? How do pollutants change the river, and why does it matter? Come investigate and answer these questions on Saturday.

Dams, bridges, and levees, oh my!: Sunday, July 31st 12:00 PM

Challenge your construction skills by building structures in and near flowing water. Maybe you want to make a working waterwheel, or perhaps you have in mind a perfect creekside cabin. Sunday you will take reign over our pile of construction materials, and mold them to fit your vision.


Montana Discovery Foundation

The Montana Discovery Foundation is organized to involve citizens in conserving and enhancing natural resources within the Helena National Forest and surrounding areas in order to achieve and maintain sustainable, healthy landscapes, resources, and communities. Come to the kids tent at Friday, Saturday and Sunday to participate in the following MDF programs. To learn more about MDF, visit

Explore Fire Science: Friday, July 29th 5:00 PM

Join the Montana Discovery Foundation and become a fire scientist – We’ll make edible fire triangles, act out a wildland fire, and investigate fire-loving seeds!

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

Learn about being safe in bear country with the beloved children’s song “Going on a Bear Hunt”. Then let’s make a red ant “chip clip” to take home – after all, ants are among a bear’s many favorite foods!

Edible Anthills: Sunday, July 31st 2:30 PM

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


Women’s Foundation of Montana

The Women’s Foundation of Montana’s work benefits women and girls as well as our communities overall. As the only statewide fund dedicated to funding for women and girls, donations are leveraged through our endowment. Our research, initiatives and grant-making are focused on lasting change for women and girls. Learn more at:

Eye Spy, Nanosand and Ooblecks!: Saturday, July 30th 3:00 PM

Nano what? Big things sometimes come from the tiniest worlds!  Join the Women’s Foundation of Montana in learning about nanoscale science and engineering through hands-on activities and demonstrations for kids and adults. You can learn about several types of small-scale science, including microfilms and nanosand! Come play a game of eye spy, give oobleck a squeeze, check out hydrophobic nanosand and put together a stained glass window!