Summertime is coming and in Montana that means warm weather, lake days, spending time in Glacier Park, and welcoming thousands of visitors to our little valley.
It’s also the valley’s primetime for can’t-miss events, activities, programs, and parties; be sure to keep tabs on www.FlatheadEvents.net for up-to-date event listings, additions and changes.
There is so much going on this summer and with endless possibilities it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some of the best events the valley has to offer over the next few months so you can fill your summer calendar with fun and adventure.
Brash Rodeo | May- September
Blue Moon Arena, Columbia Falls
Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Rodeo is a classic Montana past time and you can enjoy Western Montana’s longest-running series open rodeo, every Thursday all summer long. Brash rodeo events include bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team roping and barrel racing, among others. For more information and tickets, visit www.glaciercountryrodeo.com.
Picnic in the Park | Begins June 26
Depot Park, Kalispell
Tuesdays, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Twice a week, the Kalispell Parks and Recreation Department throws Picnic in the Park. The concert series showcases local bands and provides the opportunity to enjoy time outdoors. Bring your own picnic or enjoy the food trucks and other vendors who come out. This summer the series begins with Kenny James Miller Band on June 26; for more information and a full list of bands, visit www.Kalispell.com/242/Picnic-in-the-Park or call 406-758-7717.
Symphony Night at the Farm | July 7
Rebecca Farm, 1385 Farm to Market Rd., Kalispell
Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music starts at 7:30 p.m.
An evening of music with the Glacier Symphony on the rolling lawn of Rebecca Farm in the heart of the Flathead Valley is the setting for this annual outdoor concert in Kalispell.
Performances include The Blue Danube Waltz, Light Cavalry Overture, movie scores from Lord of the Rings, Dances with Wolves, The Cowboys, West Side Story and Finales from Dvorak’s New World Symphony and the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky and more.
For more information, visit www.gscmusic.org/concerts#symphony-night or call 406-407-7000.
Lakeside Community Fair | July 14
Lakeside Elementary School Gym
9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
The women of Lakeside Community Club annually put on the Lakeside Community Fair as a fundraiser for the community. This year’s theme, “Whatever Floats Your Boat,” showcases different aspects of the community that should float your boat. The all-day event kicks off with a pancake breakfast and includes a parade down U.S. Highway 93 at 11 a.m. and finishes with duck races at the Tamarack Pub and Grill. Craft and food vendors are open until 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.lakesidecommunityclub.com.
Montana 200 | July 19-21
Montana Raceway Park
Get your motor running during this weekend of engines, speed and asphalt at Montana Raceway Park’s signature event, the 28th annual Montana 200. The three-day event starts with an open practice that’s free admission to pic your favorite contenders. Day two is qualifying rounds, followed by day three with the big race, starting at 8:30 p.m. The prize purse draws drivers from across the country and is worth more than $50,000 in total. The winner gets a check for $15,000 and a bonus of $5,000 if a driver wins the race. For more information, visit www.mtracewaypark.com.
Arts in the Park | July 13-15
This three-day event showcases the best local art in the Flathead Valley. The Hockaday Museum of Art’s largest annual fundraiser boasts art, local musicians, a variety of food vendors, and a beer and wine garden. Daily admittance is $3, or $5 for the whole weekend. A weekend button also provides admission to the Hockaday Museum. For more information, visit www.HockadayMuseum.org or call 406-755-5268.
The Event at Rebecca Farm | July 18-22
1385 Farm to Market Rd., Kalispell
Just outside of downtown Kalispell, world-renowned equestrians come to compete in the Event at Rebecca Farm. The event features dressage, cross-country, and show jumping and is free to spectators. After watching your favorite event, stop and enjoy concessions and take a peek at the vendors who come from across the northwest. The event is child and pet friendly. Parking donations are accepted, and will benefit the Halt Cancer at X program, which raises thousands of dollars for local and national cancer education and research. For more information, visit www.RebeccaFarm.org.
Heritage Days | July 25-29
This community celebration began in 1956 and has continued to celebrate the prosperity and history of the Columbia Falls area. It’s a weekend full of family-friendly events, including a car show, community market, swimming, concerts, auction, rodeo, 5K and 10K runs, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a parade, a barn dance, and much more. For more information, visit www.cfallsheritagedays.com.
Bigfork Festival of the Arts | Aug. 4-5
Head down to Electric Avenue to enjoy art, crafts, food, music and more during the Festival of the Arts. The weekend- long event is celebrating its 40th year and has a great family-friendly vibe and showcases Bigfork’s unique village-feel. There are bus shuttles to help accommodate the traffic, and the restaurants and shops in downtown Bigfork will be ready join in on the celebration. For more information, visit www.bigforkfestivalofthearts.com.
Huckleberry Days Arts Festival | Aug. 10-12
Whitefish Depot Park
Over 120 artisans head up to Whitefish for this weekend of music, food, and fun. The even features local food vendors, live entertainment, and a huckleberry dessert bake-off contest. Admission is free, and special treats like free ice cream await. For more information, visit www.whitefishchamber.org/huckleberry-days or call 406-862-3501.
Northwest Montana Fair | Aug. 15-19
It doesn’t get much more like a Montana summer than the fair. The fair features beautiful animals from across the state with a three night PRCA Rodeo. It has carnival rides, classic fair food, and rounds out with fireworks and concerts. Over 8,000 handcrafted exhibits are on show throughout the fair. Josh Turner kicks off things off with his concert August 15. For more information and event tickets, visit www.nwmtfair.com.
The Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival | Aug. 26 – Sept. 1
Flathead Lake Lodge, Bigfork
The annual Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival brings some of the biggest global talent in the guitar world and puts it onstage in the Flathead Valley. During the day, students learn from legendary musicians at workshops, and by night, these musicians play concerts open to the public. The festival features a variety of styles with musicians including Justin Townes Earle, Nathan East, and Liz Longley. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.crownguitarfest.org.
Montana Dragon Boat Festival | Sept. 8-9
Join thousands of athletes and on-lookers at the Montana Dragon Boat Festival, where teams of 20 race in 46-foot-long-boats, to the beat of their boat’s drummer. Night one includes the Tail End of Summer Party on Saturday where you can play games, sign up for the Paddle Board Boxing tournament, and enjoy local food trucks. This free event is fun for the whole family with kids activities, live music, and plenty of racing. For more information and the festival parking guide, visit www.kalispellevents.sportngin.com.
Flathead Celtic Festival | Sept. 14-15
Herron Park, Kalispell
This educational and family-friendly festival celebrates all things Celtic. It features music, dance, food, crafts, and traditional athletic events. Play the traditional highland games and learn about heritage, while enjoying the outdoors with people of all clans. For more information, visit www.FlatheadCelticFestival.com.