Arts & Entertainment

Fourth of July Guide

From fireworks to parades, a guide to celebrating Independence Day in the Flathead

Five Best Ways to Watch Fireworks

1. Grab a seat in the sand at City Beach or Les Mason, both located along Whitefish Lake. Nothing says Fourth of July like a community watching the fireworks together from the vantage point of a local beach.

2. To watch the fireworks show over Flathead Lake, head to either the Lakeside or the Somers beach and stretch out in the sand. Or go to the other side of Flathead Lake to watch Polson’s fireworks show along the river or from the Polson Fairgrounds.

2. Head over to Seeley Lake to watch their beautiful fireworks show over the water. You can even sponsor fireworks to be set off by filling out this permit: www.seeleylakechamber.com/150618-fireworks-shot-form.

4. Drive or trek up to the Lone Pine State Park Overlook in Kalispell to get a birds-eye view of all of the fireworks shows going on in different locations. The park will stay open until 11:30 p.m. to facilitate watching each show from beginning to end.

5. Celebrate Fourth of July the Flathead way by renting a paddleboard or bringing your own to watch the fireworks from the middle of Whitefish or Flathead Lake. There’s no better way to see the fireworks than from the water.

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Bigfork. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Schedule of Events

MONSTER TRUCKS AND HUGE FIREWORKS SHOW

Where: Montana Raceway Park, Kalispell

When: June 30 and July 2 — meet-and-greet at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m. both nights

What: Head out to Montana Raceway Park for two action-packed nights of monster trucks. Celebrate Fourth of July early by staying for the spectacular fireworks displays immediately following the shows.

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION: SEELEY LAKE STYLE

Where: Downtown Seeley Lake

When: Festivities begin at 7 a.m. and last until 10:30 p.m.

What: Each year, Seeley Lake hosts a parade and beautiful fireworks show over the lake. Other events include a bake sale, the Seeley Lake Fire Department pancake breakfast, a pig roast, and a rubber duck race in the Clearwater River. Full schedule of events here: www.seeleylakechamber.com/event/4th-of-july.

GRATEFUL NATION MONTANA FREEDOM 5K RUN/WALK

Where: Brookside Yard Café, Bigfork

When: Check-in at 8 a.m., run/walk at 9 a.m.

What: Every dollar of the proceeds goes to the Grateful Nation Montana scholarship fund to educate the children of Fallen Montana Military Heroes. The run/walk follows the scenic Swan River Nature Trail and finishes with Brookies Cookies and medals.

How: Race registration is $20 and ends July 4 at 8:55 a.m. Register at www.gratefulnationmontana.com/about/annual-freedom-run.

KALISPELL’S FOURTH OF JULY PARADE

Where: Downtown Kalispell

When: 10 a.m.

What: Make your way to historic downtown Kalispell to enjoy its parade, which is themed “Travel the USA.” The three best parade floats win cash prizes.

OLD-FASHIONED ICE CREAM SOCIAL

Where: Conrad Mansion Museum, Kalispell

When: 11 a.m.

What: Drop by after the Kalispell parade and enjoy free ice cream from Sykes and Norm’s News, free face-painting, and music by the Flathead Valley New Horizons Band, while exploring the mansion’s beautiful grounds. Lunch from Porteus BBQ is available for purchase.

How: Take advantage of the mansion’s Fourth of July special pricing — self-guided tours of the mansion are just $5. Questions? Gennifer Sauter at (406) 755-2166.

BIGFORK’S FOURTH OF JULY PARADE

Where: Downtown Bigfork

When: 12 p.m.

What: Don’t miss the parade often considered to be the Flathead Valley’s very best! The theme this year is “Celebrating America’s Heroes.” Bonus: After the parade, the Bigfork Fire Department will be giving out root beer floats.

How: There will be no parking in downtown Bigfork after 8 a.m., and all roads into town will closed at that time. Public parking and a free shuttle are available at Crossroads Christian Fellowship and Saint John Paul II Catholic Church. Further parking is available at the Bethany Lutheran Church on the south end of Bigfork. Parade lineup begins at 9 a.m. No advance registration required. Children on foot can join the parade lineup after the military.

POLSON’S FOURTH OF JULY PARADE

Where: Downtown Polson

When: 12 p.m.

What: The theme for this year’s parade is “Small Town Independence.” Parade entry forms are obtained at and must be turned in to the Polson Chamber Office by July 3. (406) 883-5969.

POLEBRIDGE’S FOURTH OF JULY PARADE

Where: Main Street

When: 12 p.m.

What: Celebrate Fourth of July in the shadow of Glacier National Park. This fun and funky parade is not officially organized but happens every year anyway. Anyone can participate, and there are cash prizes for the three best floats/participants. Music by Engine 99 and Dan Friend immediately afterward.

How: To participate in the parade, line up at the Polebridge Mercantile starting at 11:30 a.m. Absolutely no fireworks allowed.

119th ARLEE FOURTH OF JULY POWWOW, PARADE & RODEO

Where: Arlee Powwow Grounds

When: 1 p.m.

What: The longest running tribal celebration hosted by the Salish and Pend d’Oreille tribes and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Nation consists of traditional dance competitions, singing, drumming, and a parade followed by a rodeo. The Snake Dance, which begins at 2 p.m., honors all veterans.

How: For more information, go to www.arleepowwow.com.

RED WHITE AND BOOM SHOW AND SHINE

Where: Indian Springs Ranch and Golf Community, Eureka

When: 1 p.m.

What: This cool car show will be accompanied by classic rock music by Northwest Audio Productions. There are awards for participants.

How: Registration begins at 12 p.m. on July 4; the car show runs from 1-5 p.m. All car styles and years are welcome.

FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS KAYAK PADDLE

Where: Sea Me Paddle Kayaking Tours LLC, Lakeside

When: 9 p.m.

What: Watch Fourth of July fireworks from the best seat in the house — a kayak in the middle of the lake!

How: RSVP for this event at (406) 249-1153, as it fills up quickly. $75/person.

POLSON’S FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS SHOW

Where: Polson Fairgrounds

When: Whenever dusk hits — sometime between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

What: You don’t want to miss this fireworks show over Flathead Lake! Watch along the river or from the fairgrounds. (406) 883-5969.

JULY FOURTH FIREWORKS ON WHITEFISH LAKE

Where: Whitefish Lake

When: 10:30 p.m.

What: Watch the annual Fourth of July fireworks show from the stunning vantage point of Whitefish Lake. Free shuttles from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach start at 7 p.m. The last shuttle leaves City Beach at 11 p.m. Questions? (406) 862-3501.

For more events, visit flatheadevents.net

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