Can’t-Miss Events in the Flathead

The Flathead Valley will play host this summer to activities appealing to a wide range of interests and age groups

By Mike Kordenbrock
Lord Huron performs at Under the Big Sky music festival in Whitefish on July 15, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Festivals featuring arts and crafts, food and drink, music and rodeo events are all planned for this summer in the Flathead Valley. The following is just a small sample of the events taking place throughout the region this summer. For more ideas about where to go and what to do under the summer sun, check out www.flatheadevents.net and www.flatheadbeacon.com

Brash Rodeo Summer Series 2023

June 1 through Sept. 9

The Blue Moon Arena in Columbia Falls will host a weekly nighttime rodeo including bull riding, saddle bronc, ranch bronc, bareback, chute dogging, team roping, barrel racing and more. The arena is located at 167 Half Moon Rd. in Columbia Falls. For more information: www.glaciercountryrodeo.com

Big Sky City Lights

June 3

The indie folk duo with roots in the Flathead will be performing in McClaren Hall at Flathead Valley Community College’s new Wachholz College Center. Made up of Nick Spear and Susan O’Dea, Big Sky City Lights will be showcasing both new and old music. For more information: wachholzcollegecenter.org

Glacier Symphony Orchestra: Mozart at McClaren

June 23-June 25

This classical music festival includes multiple nights of performances and will feature the violinist Yevgeny Kutik and the pianist Anna Polonsky. Event is at the Wachholz Center at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information: wachholzcollegecenter.org

Bigfork Montana Rodeo 

July 5-July 8

This professional rodeo event includes live music, food vendors, a kids area, and free parking. The first night of the rodeo, July 5, people are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. On July 6 veterans and active duty military get in free. July 7 kids 12 and under get in free, and the final night of the rodeo, July 8, features a live concert immediately after the rodeo. Located at Bigfork Arena at 2840 MT Hwy 82 in Bigfork. For more information: www.bigforkrodeo.com

Glacier Symphony Night at Rebecca Farm

July 7 and July 8

Glacier Symphony will perform rain or shine at Rebecca Farm. The Pops concert will include patriotic music and well-known symphonic pieces including from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. Attendees are encouraged to bring a comfy chair, blanket and snacks. Food and drink will also be available from vendors. Rebecca Farm is located at 1010 W. Spring Creek Rd. in Kalispell. For more information: www.glaciersymphony.org

The Event at Rebecca Farm

July 19-July 23

This multiway equestrian triathlon competition includes Olympic qualifier level courses, and competitions will go through the three eventing disciplines of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Spectators will also be able to shop from vendors featuring Montana-made goods, regional art, apparel and jewelry. Rebecca Farm is located at 1010 W. Spring Creek Rd. in Kalispell. For more information: rebeccafarm.org

Arts in the Park

July 14-July 16

Hosted by the Hockaday Museum of Art, this arts, crafts and music festival will include over 80 juried artists and artisans booths offering handmade paintings, jewelry, ceramics and housewares. Food and beverages will be available from 10 different vendors and food trucks. A wine and beer garden will also be onsite with beer and wine. Ticket sales support the Hockaday’s educational art exibithions and programs. Located at Depot Park in Kalispell. For more information: www.hockadaymuseum.com/park/

Concert-goers at Under the Big Sky music festival in Whitefish on July 15, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Under the Big Sky

July 14-July 16

Headlined by Hank Williams Jr., Zach Bryan and CAAMP, the festival features more than 30 musical performances. The festival begins July 14 with a rodeo and performances by CAAMP, Colter Wall, Luke Grimes, Drayton Farley and Archertown. In addition to live music, the festival will also have a daily rough stock rodeo, trail rides, a petting zoo, a vendor village, food and beverages. The festival takes place at Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish. For more information: www.underthebigskyfest.com

Heritage Days

July 26-July 30

This celebration of Columbia Falls history starts off July 26 with a car show at Marantette Park. July 27 is Columbia Falls Community Market night at The Coop. July 28 features a barbecue, beer garden, and auction at Marantette Park, as well as a concert and an open rodeo at the Blue Moon Arena. July 29 kicks off with the Firemen’s breakfast at Don Anderson Fire Hall, and continues with the Boogie-to-the-Bank 5k and 10k and arts, crafts and food vendors at Marantette Park. A parade on Nucleus Avenue starts at noon later that day. July 30 includes a golf scramble and a Sunday Market in front of city hall with live music, food and vendors. For more information: cfallsheritagedays.com

Montana’s Toughest Cowboy and Fastest Cowgirl

July 28-July 29

This two-night rodeo event looks to crown champions deemed to be Montana’s Toughest Cowboy and Montana’s Fastest Cowgirl. Barbecue, cold beer, and live music from Sho Down and Copper Mountain Band are all on the agenda. Located at Bigfork Arena at 2740 MT Hwy 82 in Bigfork. For more information: bigforkrodeo.com/mttoughestcowboy

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives

July 28

The Country Music Hall of Famer and five-time Grammy winner will be playing in McClaren Hall at Flathead Valley Community College’s new Wachholz College Center. For more information: wachholzcollegecenter.com

Bigfork Festival of the Arts

Aug. 5-Aug. 6

The festival brings arts, crafts, food and music to Bigfork over the course of a weekend. The festival debuted in 1978 and recent years it has included 150 booths with attendance estimated to be in excess of 6,000 people. For more information: www.bigfork.org

Great Bear Beer Festival

Aug. 5

The sixth annual festival in Kalispell will offer attendees a taste of local and regional beers, wines and hard ciders. More than 35 breweries, cider makers and wineries were represented at last summer’s festival. Food and live music are also part of the event. The festival is put on by the Daybreak and Noon Rotary Clubs of Kalispell, and proceeds will go to support both local and international organizations. Located at Depot Park in Kalispell. For more information: greatbearfestival.com

Huckleberry Days Arts Festival

Aug. 11-Aug. 13

The 34th Annual Huckleberry Days Arts Festival in past years has included more than 100 artists and food vendors. The fair highlights hand-crafted items created by vendors. Located at Depot Park in Whitefish. For more information: whitefishchamber.org

Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo

Aug. 16-Aug. 20

This year’s fair is expected to feature more than 100 commercial exhibitors and over 8,000 exhibits from regional residents. In addition to a rodeo, the fair will also include a concert, carnival rides, fair food and a livestock show and sale. Located at the Flathead County Fairgrounds at 265 N. Meridian Rd. in Kalispell. For more information: www.nwmtfair.com

The Music of Fleetwood Mac—A Tribute Concert

Aug. 18-Aug. 19

This 7-piece tribute band will be playing hits from Fleetwood Mac’s catalogue at the O’Shaughnessy Center in downtown Whitefish. The concert is hosted by Whitefish Theatre Co., and sold out in 2022. For more information: whitefishtheatreco.org 

Tab Benoit and The Rumble

Aug. 27

Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist Tab Benoit will be performing in McClaren Hall at Flathead Valley Community College’s new Wachholz College Center. Opening for Benoit, a Louisiana native, will be The Rumble, a Grammy-nominated band with New Orleans roots tat blends the sounds of trumpet, trombone, bass, keyboard, guitar and drums. For more information: wachholzcollegecenter.org

This article was originally published in Glacier Journal, our annual guide to summer in Northwest Montana. Pick up a copy on newsstands across the region.

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