Fourth of July Adventure Guide

Celebrate Independence Day with fireworks and fun events

By Charlotte Bausch
Fireworks explode during the annual Fourth of July celebration at Whitefish City Beach. Beacon File Photo

Five Great Ways to Watch Fireworks

1. Multiple fireworks shows on Flathead Lake can be viewed from the public beaches in Lakeside and Somers on the west side of the lake. You can also see Polson’s show from along the river or the Polson Fairgrounds, and Bigfork’s fireworks from Wayfarers State Park.

2. Start your day off with golf at the Red, White and Boom Celebration Flag Tournament at Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course, and then watch the course’s fireworks show. The event will also feature live music, a kid’s zone and food for purchase.

3. The incredible Seeley Lake show lights fireworks from a deck in the middle of the water, giving the entire lake a good view. Fourth of July at Seeley Lake is a full-day affair, with events like a pancake breakfast and a rubber duck race.

4. Watch a number of the valley’s shows from above by hiking or driving to the top of Lone Pine State Park in west Kalispell. Lakeside, Kalispell and Foys Lake fireworks are all visible from the park.

5. To get the best view, watch fireworks from the middle of the water. You can rent water toys from multiple companies along Flathead or Whitefish Lake, or take a special Fourth of July tour with Sea Me Paddle, which allows guests to view the Lakeside fireworks show while paddling.

Schedule of Events

Seeley Lake Fourth of July Celebration

Where: Seeley Lake

When: All day on the Fourth

What: The lake’s full-day celebration includes a pancake breakfast at the Seeley Lake Fire Hall and a BBQ lunch at Mission Bible Fellowship. The parade through downtown begins at 2 p.m., followed by the annual rubber duck race on the Clearwater River at 4:30 p.m. Fireworks over Seeley Lake will start at 10:30 p.m.

More: www.seeleylakechamber.com

Red, White and Boom Celebration Flag Tournament

Where: Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course, Eureka

When: All day on the Fourth

What: Indian Springs Ranch Golf Course hosts a full day of events around its annual Flag Tournament. The tournament will be followed by even more ways to compete, with a Chipping Contest and a Horseshoe Tournament in the afternoon. There’s also a kid’s zone, a food court from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a beer garden and live music in the evening. Comedian hypnotist Terrence B. will perform at 8 p.m. Fireworks start at dusk.

More: www.indianspringsmontana.com

Polson’s Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Show

Where: Polson Fairgrounds

When: Parade begins at noon, fireworks at dusk on the Fourth

What: This year, Polson’s annual Fourth of July Parade celebrates the town’s history with the theme “1909 to 2019 – Celebrating 110 Years of Growth.” Fireworks start at dusk and can be seen from along the river or from the Polson Fairgrounds.

More: www.polsonchamber.com

Bigfork’s Fourth of July Parade

Where: Downtown Bigfork

When: 12 p.m. on the Fourth

What: Bigfork’s annual Fourth of July Parade will start down Electric Avenue at noon. The theme of this year’s parade is “American Heroes.” After the parade, the “Ducks for Bucks” rubber duck race will take place on the Wild Mile of the Swan River, with proceeds going to prizes and a scholarship for a Bigfork High School senior.

More: Parking in downtown Bigfork closes at 8 a.m. There are also free shuttle buses available. For more information, visit www.bigfork.org

Fourth of July Fireworks Paddle

Where: Sea Me Paddle Kayaking Tours, Lakeside

When: 9 p.m. on the Fourth

What: Watch the Lakeside fireworks show from the middle of the lake. The tour includes all gear and lasts about two hours. This is Sea Me Paddle’s most popular tour of the summer, so be sure to book as soon as possible.

More: Pre-registration is required online at www.seamepaddle.com

July Fourth Fireworks on Whitefish Lake

Where: Whitefish Lake

When: Shortly after dusk, shuttles run from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. on the Fourth

What: Whitefish Lake’s fireworks show gives visitors a great view from City Beach. For added convenience, Eagle Transit provides a free shuttle from the O’Shaughnessy Center in downtown Whitefish to City Beach.

More: www.whitefishchamber.org

Grateful Nation Montana Freedom 5k Run/Walk

Where: Brookside Yard, Bigfork

When: 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on the Fourth

What: Now in its ninth year, Grateful Nation Montana’s Annual Freedom Run seeks to honor and thank all the men and women in uniform. The path of the 5K stretches from Brookeside Yard toward the Bigfork Nature Trail. After the race participants gather for Brookies’ cookies and medals before the Bigfork Parade. All proceeds from race registrations go to the Grateful Nation Montana Children’s Scholarship Fund, which gives scholarships to children whose parents died in action. Children of Fallen Patriots and the Folded Flag Foundation partner with Grateful Nation and other sponsors to put on this event.

More: www.gratefulnationmontana.com or Grateful Nation’s Facebook page

Kalispell’s Fourth of July Parade

Where: Downtown Kalispell

When: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on the Fourth

What: Line up along 10th street for the annual Kalispell Fourth of July parade, which features traditional floats and fire trucks and this summer promises to be bigger than ever. This year’s theme is “Made in the USA.”

More: www.kalispellchamber.com

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social

Where: Conrad Mansion Museum, Kalispell

When: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Fourth

What: After Kalispell’s parade, the Conrad Mansion will welcome the public to eat barbecue, listen to live music and enjoy ice cream. Guests can also take self-guided tours of the museum at a reduced rate of $5.

More: www.conradmansion.com

Polebridge’s Fourth of July Parade

Where: Main Street

When: Noon

What: The annual parade in Polebridge isn’t officially organized but somehow happens every year anyway. Anyone can participate, and there are cash prizes for the three best floats or participants.

The 82nd Annual Earl Hunt Memorial Fourth of July Tournament

Where: Whitefish Lake Golf Club

When: July 4-7

What: The annual Fourth of July tournament in Whitefish begins with practice rounds on Wednesday followed by tournament play Thursday through Saturday. The Women’s Derby begins Thursday at 5 p.m. The Men’s Derby is Friday at 5 p.m. Although the course will be closed to the public during the tournament, all guests are welcome to watch the derbies and enjoy food at Whitefish Lake Restaurant.

More: www.golfwhitefish.com

Glacier Symphony’s “American Salute”

Where: Rebecca Farm, Kalispell

When: July 5-6

What: Glacier Symphony’s annual “Symphony Night at the Farm” will feature patriotic tunes alongside a selection of music by George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Vendors will sell ice cream, popcorn, gourmet foods, and wine and beer. Entry is by the carload, with $40 per car in advance through July 2 or $50 day of.

More: www.glaciersymphony.org or call (406) 407-7000.