Thousands of people from all over the country are in the Flathead Valley this weekend to either compete or support those riding in the Event at Rebecca Farm equestrian triathlon. It’s the largest equestrian triathlon in the nation.
NBC Montana got a preview of some of the courses. The course designer says its important to take full advantage of the terrain, combining both uphill and downhill jumps. The combination of the two will test the skills of both the horses and the riders.
Businesses around the Flathead are preparing for the crowds of people that are in town for the event.
“We are crazy busy, probably the busiest we’ve ever been,” said Kim Shirley.
Shirley works for Five Star Rentals and she says every house is booked. People have been putting in rental requests as far as three to four months ago for this specific weekend. She says it’s great for business and great for people who come into town.
"It allows a lot of other people to experience what we get to experience every single day," Shirley said.
It’s not only the rental properties and hotels that are gearing up for the crowds, but also local restaurants. Restaurants in the Flathead see crowds of hungry customers during event days.
Bullman’s Pizza is only a few minutes from Rebecca Farm. The manager told NBC Montana that even though it’s chaotic, it’s the best weekend to work.
"We get large crowds brought in and it’s fun -- it’s a lot of fun," said Brad Holmgren, manager of Bullman’s Pizza.
Businesses around town are excited for the crowd, and say it’s always great to be busy. They know they have to be prepared.
"We're stocking up the schedule with employees, just having people on backup, just in case our food orders and beverage orders are increased, so we're not running out of anything," Holmgren said.
“We put together little rental bags, with chocolates and local information and I’ve had to run over to the Chamber and get a lot more information because we ran out of stuff," Shirley said.
Both Shirley and Holmgren agree that this weekend could get hectic, but they are ready for what's to come.
“We have to brace ourselves and go with the onslaught and just kind of do what we can to get through,” said Shirley.
“We're looking forward to embracing the chaos," Holmgren said.
The Event at Rebecca Farm is a three-day event that starts Thursday.
Admission for spectators is free but donations are welcome. The money raised will support Halt Cancer-X, an initiative to raise money for breast cancer awareness and community outreach projects.