Just when you thought it would never stop raining, summer has undeniably arrived here in Whitefish and just in time for a busy Independence Day weekend!
Of course, for most folks the Fourth of July means fireworks. And, here in Whitefish, we do it up right! The only public fireworks display north of Flathead Lake gets underway Thursday night at 10:30 p.m., just off the shoreline at Whitefish City Beach.
With hundreds of boats on the lake, thousands of freedom-loving folks on the beach and the last ruby hues of a Rocky Mountain sunset as the backdrop, fireworks on Whitefish lake is a truly spectacular scene to behold.
A word of advice to the uninitiated: get there early! Prime lawn chair and blanket space on the beach and grass is staked out early and defended determinedly. The good news is that there’s plenty to do and lots of friends – both new and old – to visit with while you’re waiting for the “big show” to get started at sunset.
The folks at Whitefish Parks and Rec have lined up a wide variety of food and beverage vendors to soothe your thirst and harness your hunger, and word has it that fireworks fanatics will have a bit of impromptu live music to keep them entertained as well.
While parking at (and near) City Beach is always difficult to come by during the summer months, on the Fourth of July it’s nearly non-existent. If you’re living (or staying) close enough to walk, do it! If you’re downtown “warming up” for the evening’s festivities, you have a couple of great options: take a 20 minute walk to the beach on Whitefish’s award-winning trail system, or catch a shuttle bus at the O’Shaughnessy Center that will drop you right in the middle of all the lakeside action.
Central Avenue becomes “Art Central”
After the pyrotechnical explosions die down late Thursday night, Whitefish’s downtown district will truly become “Art Central” this weekend with a pair of major events showcasing the best original artwork that Whitefish – and the Pacific Northwest – have to offer.
Downtown merchants will host their monthly “Gallery Nights” art walk this Friday evening from 6-9 p.m., staying open late – and rolling out the red carpet – for art-lovers looking for a unique piece of Montana to take home with them. Fourteen different shops and galleries on (and around) Central Avenue take part in this monthly event, offering wine and food tasting to go along with the spectacular art on display and for sale.
And down at the north end of Central Avenue – in historic Depot Park – another 100-plus artists and craftsmen from throughout the Northern Rockies will take part in the 34th Annual Whitefish Arts Festival – three full days of outstanding art, live entertainment and good eats! The show opens at 10 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so make plans to spend a day checking-out the vast array of artistic endeavors on display. You’ll be glad you did!
For a complete list of Independence Day Weekend events in (and around) Whitefish, visit www.whitefishchamber.org, call us at 862-3501, or stop by the Visitor Center on your way into town, at 307 Spokane Ave., Suite 103.
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