Local

A Flathead Fourth of July

Parades and fireworks return this year following cancellations in 2020

By Maggie Dresser
Crowds watch fireworks over Whitefish Lake on July 4, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Fourth of July festivities return to the Flathead this year following pandemic cancellations last year, with fireworks at Whitefish City Beach and parades across the valley.

After the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce announced earlier this year that it would discontinue Fourth of July parade sponsorship after losing volunteers and a drop in memberships, Kruise Kalispell, a nonprofit organization that formed last year, will sponsor the annual parade.

The parade will have a new route this year, starting at the Kalispell Center Mall and running south down Main Street to 11th Street West starting at noon.

Kruise Kalispell organizers will be collecting food donations for the Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry and will provide a drop-off location at the mall near Starbucks.

The Whitefish Chamber of Commerce will present its annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Whitefish City Beach beginning at 10:30 p.m. and ending around 11 p.m.

Various vendors will set up in the early evening and remain open until the fireworks begin, and traffic control will be set up by 5 p.m. The boat launch will be closed from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. to launch the fireworks barge and again at 5 p.m. along with the prevention and decontamination station. The Whitefish Lake State Park boat launch will close at 9 p.m.

A free shuttle will run from the O’Shaughnessy Center to the beach from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Dogs, personal fireworks, alcohol and glass containers are prohibited at Whitefish City Beach.

Bigfork’s essential workers-themed Fourth of July parade begins at noon. Floats will be judged based on entertainment value, originality, craftsmanship and interpretation of the theme, and there will also be a classic car category.

Parade parking is located in the field at the intersection of U.S. highways 35 and 82 with a free shuttle service to downtown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Lakeside and Somers Chamber of Commerce is currently fundraising for its 2021 fireworks show and hopes to present a 20-minute show.

To donate, visit www.lakesidesomerschamber.org/fireworks.

Fireworks are prohibited on all national forests, state forestlands, wildlife management areas, fishing access sites and city parks.

Additionally, fireworks are prohibited within Kalispell and Columbia Falls city limits. Fireworks can be set off within Whitefish city limits between 11 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. from July 3-4.

Fourth of July Events

Lakeside

Fourth of July Fireworks: TBD

Whitefish

Whitefish City Beach Fireworks Show: 10:30 p.m.

Whitefish Arts Festival: Depot Park, July 2-4

Bigfork

Fourth of July Parade: Noon

Freedom 5K Run: July 4, 8 a.m.

Bigfork Summer Rodeo: Bigfork Rodeo Fairground, July 5-7

www.bigforkrodeo.com

Kalispell

Fourth of July Parade: Noon

Polson

Fourth of July Parade: Noon

Fireworks show: Dusk

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