Fourth of July this year in the Flathead has all the fundamentals covered: baseball, fireworks, parades and an ice cream social can all be found without leaving the valley.
The 44th Annual Whitefish Arts Festival kicks things off today, June 30, at Depot Park in Whitefish, where artists and food vendors will be set up for customers through Sunday, July 2.
On Monday, July 3, the Glacier Range Riders of the Pioneer Baseball League will kick off a three-game home series against the Ogden Raptors, that includes games on July 4 and July 5. Also on July 3, the Polson Chamber of Commerce will have its annual fireworks show at Riverside Park.
For those looking to gain an edge on their caloric intake for the Fourth of July, Bigfork will play host to the 12th Annual Grateful Nation Montana’s Freedom 5k Run/Walk, which raises money for a children’s educational fund benefitting the children of Montanans killed in action in the nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Parades are also planned on the Fourth of July in Bigfork, Kalispell and Polson. In Kalispell, there will be a chance to cool off at the Conrad Mansion, where Kalispell Kreamery has donated ice cream for the mansion’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social, which will also include $5 self-guided tours, live music and other food and drink.
For the night of the Fourth of July, fireworks shows are planned for Lakeside and Whitefish. For those who haven’t had enough of patriotic festivities, July 5 will mark the kickoff of Bigfork’s summer PRCA rodeo with a Show Your Colors night in which attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
The below is a brief (but not comprehensive) summary of some of the events happening around the Flathead before, during, and after the Fourth of July. For more events and information, check out flatheadevents.net.
12th Annual Grateful Nation Montana’s Freedom 5k Run/Walk: Proceeds from this July 4 race go to a children’s educational fund benefitting the surviving children of Montanans killed in action in the United States’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This event is open to all ages and abilities and the cost of participation is $20. Check in at Lake Baked begins at around 8 a.m., and the start of the run/walk is at 9 a.m. The course goes along the Wild Mile Nature Trail. Cookies and medals available at the finish line. Click here for more information.
Parade: The theme for the parade this year is “There’s no place like home,” and judges will be evaluating floats on originality, craftsmanship, entertainment value and interpretation of the theme. The parade lineup starts at 9 a.m. and closes at 11 a.m. The parade begins at noon, but floats must be completed by 11 a.m. in order to be judged. The Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce organizes this event, which it bills as a “non-partisan celebration of America’s birthday.” Members of the military will lead the way, and the parade will pause at the Bigfork Inn for a presentation of colors and a singing of the National Anthem. Food trucks and live music will also be a part of the festivities, with the Fetveit Brothers playing at downtown parking lot starting at 10 a.m. Parade parking will be in the field at the intersection of Highway 35 and 82. A free shuttle service from that parking area will run to downtown Bigfork from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information on the parade rules, requirements and logistics can be found at bigfork.org.
Bigfork Summer Rodeo: This multi-day PRCA rodeo kicks off on July 5 with Show Your Colors night, in which attendees are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. The rodeo continues on Thursday, July 6, with a free night for veterans and active duty military. Friday, July 7, attendance will be free for kids 12 and under. Saturday, July 8, is the final night of the rodeo, which will conclude with a live concert immediately after the rodeo ends. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Food vendors, live music, and a kids area are on site, and free parking is available. Click here for more information.
Parade: Hosted by the Flathead Marines, this parade will go from Center Street and on past the Flathead County Courthouse by way of Main Street. The parade starts at 10 a.m. For information, or to signup, contact Patrick Ward at 406-249-2448 or [email protected]
Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social at the Conrad Mansion: Kalispell Kreamery is donating free ice cream to this community event. The ice cream social will run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., or, until the ice cream runs out. Kahuna Hot Dogs will also be on site, and lemonade will be served as well. The Conrad Mansion will be open for self-guided tours for $5 per person. From noon until 1 p.m., Artist Robinson will be playing country music in the gazebo. For more information call the Conrad Mansion at 406-755-2166, or go to www.conradmansion.com
Glacier Range Riders host the Ogden Raptors: The Range Riders of the Pioneer Baseball League kick off a three-game home series against the Ogden Raptors on July 3, with games also scheduled for July 4, and July 5. All games start at 7:05 p.m. at Glacier Bank Park. For more information, including to purchase tickets, click here.
Lakeside Fireworks Show: This fireworks show at the Lakeside Marina in Lakeside, will start at 11 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Fireworks will be launched from floating barges in Flathead Lake, and the Lakeside-Somers Chamber of Commerce is expecting a 20-minute show. For more information, including how to donate to support the fireworks show, click here.
Fireworks Show: This professional show from the Polson Chamber of Commerce will take place at Riverside Park on July 3. The fireworks will start at sundown, or roughly 10 p.m. For more information, including how to donate to support the fireworks show, click here.
Parade: Starting at noon on the Fourth of July, the parade will go down Main Street through Polson’s downtown district. For more information, including how to register to participate in the parade lineup, click here.
Fireworks on Whitefish Lake: This fireworks show will start at 10:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July, and conclude at 11:30 p.m. Fireworks are launched from floating barges off the shore of Whitefish City Beach. Vendors selling shaved ice, doughnuts, ice cream, corndogs and barbecue will be on hand. People are encouraged to walk or bike to the beach to help with parking and traffic congestion, and the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce will be offering a Rocky Mountain Transportation shuttle from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach from 7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
44th Annual Whitefish Arts Festival: This festival will start Friday, June 30, at 10 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. The festival will have the same hours for Saturday, July 1, and on Sunday, July 2, will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sponsored by Whitefish Christian Academy, the festival will bring artists to Whitefish to sell a variety of wares, including metal sculptures, painting, photography, woodworking, pottery, jewelry, clothing and home decorations. Food vendors will be on site. The festival is located at Depot Park near Central Avenue and Railway Street. For more information, click here.
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