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Event

A Toasty New Year’s Eve

Live music, special dinner menus, champagne toasts, and fireworks can be found across the Flathead Valley this New Year’s Eve

By Mike Kordenbrock
The New Year’s Eve fireworks at Whitefish Mountain Resort on Dec. 31, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

For the time being, temperatures this New Year’s Eve should be suitable for human life and activity in the Flathead, with some forecasts showing a high in the mid-30s, and a low in the mid 20s. Those temperatures will represent an extreme departure from 2022’s record lows of Dec. 22, when Kalispell hit a low of minus 34 and a high of minus 6.

Which is to say, the climate around the valley could feel relatively tropical, or equatorial, or maybe even slightly sweltering. In the event the (sort of) warm weather brings up those festive end-of-year feelings, but you’re just not sure what to do or where to go, check out this list of New Year’s Eve events in the Flathead for some potential ideas. The below is by no means an exhaustive account of things to do, or places to be. For more events and information updated daily, check out flatheadevents.net.

Kalispell

An early start to the night can be found at Sacred Waters Brewing Co., where the smooth tunes of The Velvettes will start at 5:30 p.m. and continue until 8:30 p.m.

From there, The Ritz in downtown Kalispell will kick off its Roaring 20s-themed black-tie event beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $100, and the party will include live music from La Nota Blues and Jazz, as well as a champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres and special cocktails.

At 9 p.m. the Dusty Star Saloon off Highway 93 South kicks off its Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Party with live music from Whiskey Rose. The band will be playing rock covers spanning five decades.

Over at the Rainbow Bar and Casino off Highway 35, karaoke night will start at 9:30 p.m. and continue until 1:30 a.m.

For a more elaborate, imaginative New Year’s Eve, Waters Edge Winery and Bistro off Highway 2 East is once again hosting its Death By Wine interactive murder mystery dinner in which guests are actors and participants. Costumes and a good sense of humor are required, according to organizers. This year’s storyline revolves around a New Year’s Eve barbeque at a fictional trailer park, portrayed in the event description as a place known to law enforcement for its illegal activities and double-crossers. A themed four-course meal with wine pairings, games and prizes are all on the agenda. Tickets are $100. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the murder mystery event will go from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Philanthropically minded revelers may want to consider the 4th Annual Dueling Pianos Benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Glacier Country at The Eagles in Kalispell. The event will raise money for the club’s after-school programs at its clubhouses in Evergreen and Columbia Falls. Guests are asked to wear their best Western wardrobe. Pianists will be playing a mixture of classics, contemporary hits and country. The event starts at 9 p.m. and goes until midnight. Tickets range from $60 to $85, and ticket purchasers are also eligible for a special $75 room rate at the Red Lion Hotel.

Columbia Falls

Glacier Lanes will be hosting a trio of musical acts including Schticky, Herb and Doja for what’s been dubbed a Schticky-Herb-Doja New Year’s Eve. The all-ages event starts at 8 p.m. and the cover is $10.

Those looking for a more classical evening might want to consider White Raven Winery and Vineyard’s Old World New Year’s Eve with the guitarist Elizabeth Busch Letourneau. Located off Highway 2 East, the winery is hosting Letourneau for a night of “Old World music” from Celtic, Spanish, Latin, and Renaissance traditions, as well as original melodies. The event begins at 7 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m.

Bigfork

Ring in the new year at Whistling Andy Distillery’s new Andy’s Crafthouse off Montana Highway 35 in Bigfork. The party will not only be a New Year’s Eve celebration, but a celebration of the distillery’s 13th anniversary. Live music from the Nick Crawford band will keep the party rolling towards a midnight toast. Party favors will be included, per organizers, and attendees are asked to wear their best “cowboy formal” attire. This event starts at 8 p.m.

Elsewhere in Bigfork, live music from rock and roll covers band K’Niption Fit will be featured at the Buffalo Saloon and Casino New Year’s Eve Party, which starts at 9 p.m.

Whitefish

Whitefish Mountain Resort will once again host its New Year’s Eve torchlight parade and fireworks show. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. outside Ed and Mully’s in the resort’s Upper Village. Chair 2 night skiing will be stopped from 5 p.m. until 6:15 p.m., but Chair 3 and Chair 6 will remain open. The event is sold out for torch light parade participants, but the parade and fireworks are open to the public for viewing.

This New Year’s Eve the Great Northern Bar is hosting the Flathead’s nine-piece funk band 20 Grand for a show kicking off at 9:30 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 in advance. Nearby, The Remington will also have live music, albeit of a different variety. Missoula psychedelic band Flash Panda will be playing, and the event is scheduled to start at 10 p.m.

At the Boat Club at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, a New Year’s Eve dinner will be available from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Brent Jameson will be playing live music in the bar from 9 p.m. until midnight, and a balloon drop and fireworks are planned.

The Firebrand Hotel is also throwing a New Year’s Eve party this year, with dinner and cocktails in the hotel restaurant beginning at 5 p.m. Destination DJ will be playing music from 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. A champagne toast and midnight balloon drop are both on the party agenda.

Saturday, Jan. 1

Start off the New Year with a dip in some extremely cold water at the 2023 Polar Bear Plunge at The Raven in Woods Bay. Just kidding. But, seriously, that’s actually the gist of it. Of course, there’s more to this event than a shocking mid-winter encounter with the waters of Flathead Lake. Food and drink will be served, including breakfast burritos, bloody marys from the nearby Montana Bonfire restaurant. The Raven kitchen will also be open. Attendees are encouraged to carpool and plan ahead by bringing warm clothes, towels, and shoes to wear after the jump. Fire pits will be going on the decks to help people warm up after the plunge. According to organizers the plunge will take place regardless of weather and temperature. Participants are asked to sign into the plunge’s record book fore jumping in. Signup starts at 10 a.m., and folks will take the plunge at 2 p.m.

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