The smoke from nearby forest fires was thick during the line-up of the Ravalli County Fair Parade, but a gentle breeze cleared some of it away, letting the crowd enjoy the floats, antique vehicles and farm equipment, high school teams, politicians and more.

The parade is the official kick-off of the Ravalli County Fair at the fairgrounds in Hamilton. The fair will run through Saturday evening with a full slate of entertainment, food, and thousands of exhibits that come from talented people here in the Bitterroot Valley. Lots of ribbons will be seen at the exhibits on the fairgrounds in the categories from photos to flowers, quilts to artwork, porcelain to pies.

Speaking of winners, the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class organizes each year's parade and they've listed the winners of this year's event. The theme was "Summer Days and Western Ways."

SPECIAL AWARD - Donaldson Brothers Ready Mix Candy Machine (this is the popular cement truck conveyor that lifts the candy over the heads of waiting children of all ages along the parade route. It's a shower of candy.)

Horse Drawn -1st -  Kathy DeGreve

Groups Mounted - 1st - Bitterroot Mountettes, 2nd – Ron Garlick, 3rd – Bitterroot Valley Rodeo Team

Individual Mounted - 1st – Debora Lay – LayzD Equine Services, 2nd – Desi Squires, 3rd – Brad Squires

Child Novelty - 1st – Darrel Moderie, 2nd – Brock Retin

Dogs - 1st - BR Humane Assoc. - ‘Blue’

Adult Novelty - 1st – The Shenanigans, 2nd – Ravalli County Republicans, 3rd – John Meakin

Clubs and Organizations - 1st – Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, 2nd – Sapphire Lutheran Homes, 3rd – Trapper Creek Job Corps

Churches & Schools - 1st – Hamilton Christian Academy, 2nd – River Street Dance Theater, 3rd – Rising Stars Academy

Antique Machinery - Restored - 1st – Paul Klusman, 2nd – Artie Swetsen, 3rd – Jim Keel

Antique Machinery - Unrestored - 1st – Clark Carpenter

Vehicles - Convertibles - 1st – Dave Vial – ’62 Corvette, 2nd – Clifford Bailey – ’29 Ford, 3rd – Bill Williamson – ’62 Buick

Vehicles 1950 & Older - 1st – Ed Berry – Private Street Rod, 2nd – Bob Luedecke – 1917 Model T Touring, 3rd – Frank Bladen – 1948 Studebaker

Vehicles 1950 & Newer - 1st – David Rowe – 1956 Chevy Belair, 2nd – Craig Gould – 1956 Ford, 3rd – Richard Rowe – 1965 Mustang

Vehicles Pickup & Trucks - 1st – Dean Rinta – 1959 Chevy Pickup, 2nd - Richard Staats – 1949 Ford F1 Pickup, 3rd – Bob Luedecke – 1920 Ford Model T Pickup

Commercial/Industry - 1st – Lakeland Feed & Supply, 2nd – Frontier Auto Plus, 3rd - Murdoch’s Ranch & Home