How to Celebrate Fourth of July in the Flathead Valley

Fourth of July weekend in Northwest Montana is jam-packed with activities, from fireworks to symphony concerts to minor league baseball. Learn more about how the Flathead Valley (and beyond) plans to celebrate America’s birthday. 

By Denali Sagner
Crowds watch fireworks over Whitefish Lake. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Fourth of July in the Flathead means a host of patriotic events, including fireworks that dot the mountainous skyline and red, white and blue parade floats. Make a plan for Independence Day by checking out the following events happening in northwest Montana over the weekend. Read more about all of the can’t-miss events happening in the Flathead Valley this summer here. 

Polson Fireworks Show 

Riverside Park, Polson

July 3, Dusk 

Want to get into the July Fourth action a little early? Head down to Polson on Wednesday for a fun-filled night of fireworks over Flathead Lake. The city’s annual fireworks show is financed by donations from the community, and the Polson Chamber of Commerce is asking locals and visitors alike to contribute to the event. Learn more. 

Kalispell Parade 

Downtown Kalispell

July 4, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

The Flathead Marines are hosting the annual July Fourth parade through downtown Kalispell. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and travel from Center Street down Main Street, past the Flathead County Courthouse. Learn more.

Old Fashioned Ice-Cream Social

Conrad Mansion, Kalispell 

July 4, after the Kalispell parade 

Visit Kalispell’s Conrad Mansion for a free, old-fashioned ice cream social after the July Fourth parade. There will be live music, food trucks and $5 self-guided tours of the historic mansion. The event will begin after the Kalispell Fourth of July Parade. Learn more.

Troy’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July

Downtown Troy

July 4, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

For over a century, the small town of Troy has thrown a free, family-friendly July Fourth bash. This year’s schedule of events includes a “color run,” an old-fashioned breakfast at Roosevelt Park, a parade, live music, a car show and fireworks. Troy’s Roosevelt Park is set on the banks of the Kootenai River, providing a scenic backdrop for the wide-ranging community events. Bus service will be available starting after the parade with pickups at Morrison Elementary, Troy High School, Troy Activity Center and Roosevelt Park. Learn more.

Bigfork Parade

Downtown Bigfork

July 4, 12 p.m. 

Head to Bigfork for the town’s biggest party of the year. This year’s grand marshal is Gretchen Gates of Eva Gates Preserves, and the parade theme is “‘Preserving’ Bigfork Traditions” in honor of 75 years of Eva Gates. Judges will evaluate floats based on entertainment value, originality, craftsmanship and interpretation of the theme. There will also be a classic car category. Food trucks and live music by the Fetveit Brothers will begin in the downtown parking lot at 10 a.m. and will continue after the parade. Parking for the parade will be in the field at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 82. From the parking area only, free shuttle service will be available to downtown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no cars allowed in downtown Bigfork after 8 a.m. on the 4th. Learn more. 

Polson Parade 

Main Street, Polson

July 4, 12 p.m. 

Each year, creative parade floats pass through downtown Polson for the lakeside community’s Fourth of July Parade. The parade will begin at noon on Main Street. Learn more.

Fireworks on Whitefish Lake

City Beach, Whitefish 

July 4, 10:30 p.m. 

Gather at City Beach in Whitefish for an evening of food, fun and fireworks. The annual Whitefish fireworks display is launched from a floating barge 300 feet off of the shore of Whitefish Lake, and is set to the backdrop of the Whitefish Range and Big Mountain. Food vendors — including shaved ice, mini donuts, ice cream, corndogs, and barbecue — will set up shop in the early evening and stay open until the fireworks begin around 10:30 p.m. The city of Whitefish encourages attendees to walk or bike to the beach to help alleviate traffic congestion. There will be a free shuttle from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. No dogs, personal fireworks, alcohol or glass containers are allowed. Learn more.

Fourth of July parade through downtown Bigfork. Beacon file photo

Lakeside Fireworks 

Lakeside Marina, Lakeside

July 4, 11 p.m. 

Watch the sparkles, booms and bangs of fireworks over Flathead Lake at the annual Lakeside fireworks show. The fireworks will begin at 11 p.m. at the Lakeside Harbor. The small community of Lakeside is asking locals and visitors to contribute to the annual tradition and help them meet their fundraising goal of $20,000. Learn more.  

Glacier Range Riders vs. Great Falls Voyagers

Glacier Bank Park, Kalispell

July 5 and 6, 7:05 p.m., July 7, 1:05 p.m. 

Cheer for the home team as the Glacier Range Riders take on the Great Falls Voyagers over three games this weekend. Kalispell’s Pioneer League baseball team — which is currently playing its third season — is a favorite for families and grown ups alike, not to mention mascots Huck and Cliff. Learn more.

Symphony Night at Rebecca Farm

Rebecca Farm, Kalispell 

July 5 and 6, 7:30 p.m. 

Join the Glacier Symphony this weekend for two unforgettable nights of music under the Montana sky. The Glacier Symphony will be playing popular patriotic tunes, including music by Leroy Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Morton Gould, Cole Porter and Aaron Copland. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on, or rent a picnic table. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online. Learn more.

Shakey Graves with Vincent Neil Emerson and Archertown

Scout and Gather, Columbia Falls 

July 6, 6 p.m. 

Indie folk singer Shakey Graves, best known for hit songs like “Tomorrow” and “Roll The Bones,” is coming to Columbia Falls for a performance at Scout and Gather. Shakey Graves will be joined by country singer Vincent Neil Emerson and Flathead Valley-based band Archertown. The concert is being presented by Outriders. General admission tickets are $45. Learn more.

The Travelin’ McCourys and Halladay Quist 

Abayance Bay Marina, Rexford 

July 6, 5 p.m 

Nashville-based bluegrass band The Traveling’ McCourys is making trip to northwest Montana to perform at Abayance Bay Marina in Rexford. Set against the backdrop of Lake Koocanusa, the concert venue offers views of the Kootenai National Forest and the surrounding mountain ranges. Local musician Halladay Quist will open for the band. Learn more.