Let's be honest... MontanaFair is fun, but it's not cheap. My large family insists on doing everything, plus eating as many fair foods as possible. With the admission fee, snacks, wristbands, carnival games, more food, a couple of fruity cocktails for mom and dad, plus whatever super-awesome fair trinkets we can't resist purchasing, and I'm looking at an easy $200. Usually more.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Dig it Days is awesome, and it's FREE.

Take a break from spending your cash as fast as you can, and stop by the Dig it Days event at MontanaFair. It's really cool, for kids and adults and it's totally free. Dig it Days final day of the event is on Friday (8/20) from noon to 6 pm.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Kids (and adults) can operate numerous pieces of heavy equipment.

Dig it Days occupies most of what was the former racetrack area, just off the food court/carnival. The highlight of the exhibit is where kids can operate various sized backhoes and other machinery. Supervised by an adult professional, of course.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

 You can easily spend an hour taking it all in.

Operating the machines is obviously pretty sweet, but there are lots of other booths and activities at Dig it Days. When you walk in the gate, kids can grab a plastic "hard hat", free t-shirt and list of 13 Things to Do at Dig It Days. Many of the exhibitors and sponsors were offering various free items for kids, like stickers and other little goodies.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Watch the Big Dig Contest at 3 pm Friday.

For thousands of Montana workers who operate heavy equipment on a daily basis, it's probably not that interesting. For the rest of us, seeing the big machines operate up-close is fun to watch. Fairgoers will get to witness professional operators demonstrate precision skills, when they attempt to place an egg with a backhoe.

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Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Kids can play in a huge pile of sand.

I'm glad they posted a sign that reads "kids only", because this pile of sand is pretty tempting. Parents can take a load off for few minutes and let the kids burn off their cotton candy induced buzz in the huge sandpile. Prizes are hidden throughout.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Get a picture with a humongous coal truck.

That dude in the blue coat is 6 feet tall. My photo doesn't do the size of this truck justice, because it's HUGE. Make sure you wander over to get a picture. It's impossible to miss.

Dig it Days is Friday from noon to 6 pm. Your kids will love it and if you are interested in a possible career in heavy equipment, it's a great place to make some connections with potential employers. Imaging, getting paid (quite well) to play in the dirt all day! I dig it.

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