Bullish on Big Sky

PBR event a huge hit in resort community

BIG SKY — The lines formed early. For some, this would be their first experience. For most, it would be the third straight summer. Those strolling through the gates were a mix of young, old and in-between. There were plenty of new cowboy hats and fresh blue jeans coming through the gates.

The crowd was a reflection of the parking lot, where dusty pick-up trucks parked alongside expensive SUVs. A quick stroll showed license plates from 25 states — as far away as Hawaii, and nine from east of the Mississippi River.

They weren’t here for the orchestra under the stars. They were here for bull riding. And this was just not any bull riding. This was a Professional Bull Riders bull show, with all the same elements of the organization’s top-tier televised events. And this crowd of 2,500 was ready to party.

For 360 days a year, the same patch of dirt in Big Sky’s New Town Center sits vacant. It’s just an open spot among the endless acres of sagebrush surrounded by mountains. But for two nights, this same setting becomes the epicenter of the bull riding universe.

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