Tag Archives: Events

Celebrate Independence Day the Montana Way

You guys, the Fourth of July is breathing down my neck. To which I say…breathe away. After all, any holiday that combines parties, fireworks, barbecues, lake time, family bonding and a sense of community is fine by me.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Montana and its independently minded people LOVE the Fourth of July. Like, we really love it. When traveling through Western Montana’s Glacier Country during the holiday, you’ll stumble upon plenty of patriotic festivities. But here’s the thing: I don’t want you to stumble your way through July 4. I want you to feel confident about how you’re spending one of the biggest holidays of the year. So, I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up some of the top places to celebrate the Fourth of July in Big Sky Country. (You’re welcome, America).

First things first, if you haven’t been to Kalispell lately, you should go. Why? Because their downtown is cute. Plus, it’s home to the newest brewery in the state–Kalispell Brewing Company–and Sweet Peaks Ice Cream.

In terms of July 4, Kalispell kicks off the holiday with a parade down Main Street, followed by a free ice cream social at the Conrad Mansion.

Located on Flathead Lake, Polson starts the Fourth of July festivities with a parade at noon, followed by a free concert from The Mission Mountain Wood Band in Sacajawea Park. Topping off the night: fireworks over Flathead Lake.

Fun at the parade in Polson. Photo: Steve Pickel

Fun at the parade in Polson. Photo: Steve Pickel

Fireworks over Flathead Lake in Polson.  Photo: Michael Hewston

Fireworks over Flathead Lake in Polson.
Photo: Michael Hewston

Seeley Lake
Seeley Lake is one of the best small towns to celebrate the Fourth of July. On the docket: a parade through town, family games, a pig roast and an arts/crafts/food fair, topped off by a fireworks display over Seeley Lake. Plus, there are numerous hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls and streams within easy reach of Seeley Lake to keep you entertained all weekend long.

This little town on the bay of Flathead Lake is pretty well-known for its Fourth of July festivities. The fun kicks off with a parade through the village at noon. Plus, if you need to cool off you can take a dip in Flathead Lake or try your hand on a SUP on nearby Swan Lake.

Montana’s Garden City welcomes Independence Day with a pancake breakfast at The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Numerous events and activities take place at the fort throughout the day, including tours, children’s games, food and crafts. Round out the night by catching the fireworks display at Southgate Mall.

Peruse local history on July 4 at Fort Missoula.  Photo: Courtesy Destination Missoula/Michael E Rosling

Peruse local history on July 4 at Fort Missoula.
Photo: Courtesy Destination Missoula/Michael E Rosling

The fireworks over Southgate Mall.  Photo: Courtesy Destination Missoula/Corey Dostal

The fireworks over Southgate Mall in Missoula. Photo: Courtesy DM/Corey Dostal

Arlee Fourth of July Celebration and Pow Wow
The 116th annual Arlee Celebration is held July 2 – 6, with festivities including old style dress, dancing, drumming, singing, a parade and stick games.

Wishing you a happy, fun and safe Montana Fourth of July!

PS: You can view even more events here


Montana: We’re Open

Due to the Federal Government shutdown, Glacier National Park is closed. And to put it simply, it’s a bummer.

But you know what’s not a bummer? There are so many things to see and do in Western Montana outside of the park. After all, our region is home to charming small towns, plentiful hiking and biking trails, local Montana breweries and scenic backroads that lead to adventure and an opportunity to find your own Montana moment.

Sampling locally made beer at Kettlehouse in Missoula.

Sampling locally made beer at Kettlehouse in Missoula.

Because I’m a bit bossy (it’s okay, I’ve come to embrace it), I’ve rounded up some activities and things to do if you plan on playing in Western Montana this fall. After all, while our national parks may be closed for the time being, Montana is indeed open.

Take a (Scenic) Drive
It seems like no matter which way you go in Montana, chances are you’ll find one of our scenic drives. Some of my personal favorites include cruising up to the Northfork to Polebridge, venturing off on a backcountry road near Eureka and taking in the sights and colors along the West Fork Road south of Darby.

Cruising the Seeley-Swan Valley.

Cruising the Seeley-Swan Valley.

Go Fish
As a Montana girl, it probably comes as no surprise that fly-fishing is one of my loves. (You may recall my love of fly-fishing from this post). While I don’t claim to be an avid or expert fisherman, I can tell you with conviction that nothing soothes my soul quite like fly-fishing. If you’re looking to cast a line in Western Montana, I’d suggest taking to the waters of the Bitterroot River and the Blackfoot River.

Putting in on the Bitterroot River just south of Darby.

Putting in on the Bitterroot River just south of Darby.

View Fall Foliage
While Montana may not be the first place you think of for viewing fall foliage, the state certainly delivers, especially if you’re smitten with yellows and golds. Top fall foliage viewing routes include the Seeley-Swan Valley on Highway 83, the Missoula Valley (best viewed by walking the trail along the Clark Fork River or hiking the M for a complete view of the valley) and the Bitterroot Valley on Highway 93. If you’re looking to get off-the-beaten path in the Bitterroot, venture off on the East Side Highway.

A look at fall in the Mission Valley, courtesy of Donnie Sexton.

A look at fall in the Mission Valley, courtesy of Donnie Sexton.

 Fall Events
This autumn is packed with fun upcoming events throughout Western Montana. Of note: Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish October 3 – 5; Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville October 5; Tamarack Time and Brewfest in Seeley Lake October 11 – 13; and Tamarack Time! in Bigfork October 19. An added bonus: Great Northwest Oktoberfest was just named one of the top Oktoberfest events in that nation by SheKnows.com

And if you have questions? Call us at 800.338.5072. Our travel counselors can help you make plans to experience the best of fall in our neck of the woods.


September in Montana: Cool Autumn Events

Well, it’s here. Filled with gorgeous colors and delicious smells, the beautiful, glorious first month of fall is upon us. Along with its pleasant arrival, September in Montana also brings noteworthy area events.

Check ’em out…

Montana Dragon Boat Festival in Bigfork
Happening THIS WEEKEND (Saturday and Sunday) at Flathead Lake Lodge, Montana Dragon Boat Festival brings teams of ferocious (or in the case of the Glacier Country team–fun and silly) paddlers to navigate the waters of Flathead Lake as they race against other dragon boat teams. The event is open to spectators and features live music, food and drinks. Spectators are welcome to come watch and cheer on the teams of paddlers as they compete on the largest natural freshwater lake in the West.

A team makes their way onto the course on Flathead Lake.

A team paddles onto the course on Flathead Lake.

Germanfest in Missoula
Taking place Sunday, September 8 at Caras Park in downtown Missoula, Germanfest includes singing and dancing, German food and beer and plenty of kid’s activities.

Nordicfest in Libby
Coming up September 13 – 15, Nordicfest celebrates the area’s Scandinavian heritage of Montana’s northwest corner with style and flair. A cool event, it includes a Fjord horse show, live music, a Viking encampment, parade, children’s events and a craft show.

Founders Day Celebration in Stevensville
Marking 172 years of the St. Mary Mission, this year’s Founders Day Celebration will be held September 22. The celebration includes ringing of the St. Mary Mission bell, a Salish presentation and tours of the historic mission and its grounds.

The historic St. Mary's Mission.

The historic St. Mary’s Mission.

Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish
Held over TWO weekends (September 26 – 28 and October 3 – 5), Whitefish’s Great Northwest Oktoberfest is a kick-up-your-heels event that includes authentic Bavarian food, log-sawing competitions, stein-holding contests, traditional music and keg-hurling championships.

Free Entry to Glacier National Park
While it’s not really an event, the National Park Service is offering fee free entry to Glacier National Park on September 28 in honor of National Public Lands Day. Entry for the entire day is free and autumn is one of the best times to see the park.

The west entrance to Glacier National Park.

The west entrance to Glacier National Park.

Montana Brewer’s Fall Festival in Missoula
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Montana has good beer. Putting their goods on display on September 28 at Missoula’s Caras Park, breweries from across Montana will showcase their locally made brews. Round out the day of tasting Montana with live music and local food.

This year's festival features beer from more than 20 Montana breweries.

This year’s festival features beer from more than 20 Montana breweries.

September, this girl salutes you.

Fall in Montana

This morning, I headed out the door bound for work. And while Montana is still in the trenches of summer, I felt something completely different. A new feeling that could only mean one thing—fall.

And while I’m not trying to rush summer out the door (I literally want her to stay as long as possible), I couldn’t help but let my mind water to fall in Western Montana.

My mind wandered to this scene of the Flathead River, taken last fall.

An early morning on the Flathead River, taken last fall.

It’s just that fall is so lovely. It’s filled with mild temperatures, changing colors, perfect fly-fishing conditions and a delicious breeze that manages to combine fresh, crisp mountain air with the warm smell of sun-drenched grass, pumpkins and cider.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how I can share the awesomeness of fall in Montana with you. Because let’s get serious…you and I both know that my beloved Montana is not one of the first places you think of when you think of awesome fall destinations.

But, it should be. Here’s why…

Fall Colors
I’m calling it: Montana is an up-and-coming fall foliage viewing destination. While we may not have the gorgeous colors of Michigan or the spectacular array of reds found on the east coast, Montana gets its shine on in the form of brilliant shades of yellows and golds, with splashes of reds and oranges in the underbrush.

Autumn colors in Glacier National Park.

Autumn colors in Glacier National Park. Photo: Donnie Sexton.

Glacier National Park
While the height of visitation to my most favorite place happens during July and August, as far as I’m concerned September and October are totally the belle of the ball in terms of times to visit Glacier National Park. Why? a) The crowds are gone. b) The hiking trails are open and you and your hiking buddy may be the only one on them. c) The fall colors combined with the peaks are a site to see. d) Time restrictions on cyclists biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road are lifted after Labor Day.

A shoulder season trip with Glacier Park Boat Company in Two Medicine.

A shoulder season trip with Glacier Park Boat Company in Two Medicine.

To be honest, there’s no time of year I’d rather fly-fish in Western Montana than autumn. I think it’s the quietness of the river, the crisp edge in the air and the relaxation that comes along with it.

Fishing on the Bitterroot River. Photo courtesy of Mike Brodwater

Fishing on the Bitterroot River. Photo: Mike Brodwater

Even though I may not be known for my stellar golf game, I can still appreciate a beautiful course that plays nicely. You know what else I appreciate? A golf season that reaches into the shoulder season so people like me can hit the links and not be afraid of hitting other golfers.

Epic Events
Montana has some sweet fall events. Topping my personal list are Montana Dragon Boat Festival on Flathead Lake, Montana Brewers Festival in Missoula, Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish and Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville.

Paddles up!

Paddles up!

Wishing you a fun-filled and delicious smelling fall,

Round Out July with Sweet Montana Events

I’m not sure how things are in your neck of the woods, but I can tell you one thing: Montana is hopping!

This messy-haired girl has always been a strong supporter and lover of all things Montana during the summer months, from floating the Blackfoot River to basking in the long daylight hours and soaking up the sunshine.

One thing that makes my heart pitter-patter for Western Montana during the summer months are the events that take place. This region of Montana has some kick-in-the-pants events that are fun to the very last drop. To help you better make plans for your trip to Montana this July (who are we kidding, I’m actually making this list to help me plan out the remainder of my month), I’ve compiled some of my personal recommendations for events in Montana’s Glacier Country that should be placed firmly on your not-to-be-missed list.

Logger Days, Darby 
July 19 – 20
Logging is an important Montana past time and the cute town of Darby (located in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley) hosts this annual event. On the roster: 17 traditional logging competitions, activities for little lumberjacks, a logger relay and live music.

One of the logging competitions at Darby Logger Days.

One of the logging competitions at Darby Logger Days.

Flathead Cherry Festival, Polson
July 20 – 21
Celebrating one of Montana’s sweetest gems, the Flathead Cherry Festival is held in Polson on the shore of Flathead Lake and includes Made in Montana vendors, as well as fun events like a cherry spitting contest, cherry pie eating contest and live music.

Sweet Flathead Cherries grow in orchards along Flathead Lake.

Sweet Flathead Cherries grow in orchards along Flathead Lake.

Montana Baroque Music Festival, Paradise
July 23 – 25
Held at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in the aptly named Montana community of Paradise, this music festival showcases baroque music in a gorgeous setting. An added bonus: you can soak in the natural mineral waters of the hot springs after grooving to the music.

The road to Paradise and Quinn's Hot Springs Resort.

The road to Paradise and Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort.

The Event at Rebecca Farm, Kalispell
July 25 – 28
Horses and competitors come to Kalispell to compete in the nation’s largest equestrian triathlon—The Event at Rebecca Farm. An added bonus: admission is free.

Lewis & Clark Festival, Cut Bank
July 26 – 27
Celebrate the history of Lewis & Clark at this fun festival, with happenings that include a parade, chili cook-off and street dance. While you’re in town, be sure to check out the two nearby historic sites from the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

For more events throughout Western Montana, check out glaciermt.com/events.

Wishing you a fun-filled and happy July,

PS: Mark your calendars for these awesome August events.
Huckleberry Festival in Trout Creek, August 9 – 11
Epic Shore to Shore Race at Flathead Lake, August 10
Fill Your Own Bucket Day at Glacier County Honey in Babb, August 10
River City Roots Festival in Missoula, August 23 – 25
Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in Bigfork, August 26 – September 3

Western Montana Fourth of July Roundup

Happy Fourth of July!

Okay, so I’m technically early as Independence Day is still a few days away…but I’ll tell you what, this national holiday is coming in HOT. As in, it’s going to be here before you know it!

Along with the Fourth of July comes American traditions and celebrations that include parades, BBQs, fun on the water, family bonding time, street dances and fireworks. And because nearly every town in Montana has their own unique spin on the Fourth of July (and quite frankly, sometimes there are so many options it’s hard to choose one), this messy-haired girl has rounded up the best Fourth of July celebrations in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Drumroll, please…

St. Regis July 4th Festivities
This cute Montana town celebrates our nation’s birthday with a parade, pancake breakfast, logging contest, softball tournament, street dance and fireworks.

Montana’s second largest city celebrates the Fourth of July in style, with activities that include a pancake breakfast, children’s games and historic demonstrations at Fort Missoula. During the afternooon and evening, make plans to take in “Downtown ToNight” at Caras Park from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., with music from Kung Fu Kongress. Rounding out the day: Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks at Southgate Mall, with music at 9 p.m. and fireworks at 10:30 p.m.

Arlee Fourth of July Celebration and Pow Wow
The 115th annual Arlee Celebration is held July 3 – July 7, with festivities including old style dress, dancing, drumming, singing, a parade and stick games.

Arlee Pow Wow. Photo courtesy: Donnie Sexton

Arlee Pow Wow. Photo courtesy: Donnie Sexton

Troy’s Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration
Head to the charming town of Troy in the northwest corner of Montana, for fun that includes a parade, quilt show, antique car show, live entertainment and a fireworks display.

Kalispell’s July 4th Parade & Thursday!Fest
Gather in downtown Kalispell and enjoy the parade as it passes through town at 10 a.m. Round it off with an ice cream social at The Conrad Mansion. An added bonus: Thursday!Fest runs from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. and includes live music, a farmers market, arts and crafts and more.

Bigfork Fourth of July Celebration
Fill your tummy with a free pancake breakfast at 9 a.m.. Afterward, make your way to downtown for the old fashioned parade at noon, followed by live music and food at the Bigfork Fire Station, as well as duck races on the Swan River.

Whitefish Fireworks
Gather your friends and a blanket and head to Whitefish City Beach for a fireworks show, starting at dusk.

Polson Parade & Fireworks
Head to the Flathead Lake community of Polson and celebrate the Fourth of July in style. The parade starts at noon, followed by a fireworks display at 10:30 p.m.

And if you’re looking for a place to watch fireworks lighting up the night sky from Flathead Lake to Columbia Falls, plan to view fireworks from Lone Pine State Park near Kalispell. The park will be open until 11:30 p.m. to provide prime viewing.

Wishing you a happy, fun and safe Montana Fourth of July!


Memorial Day Weekend in Montana

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Around these parts, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to the summer season, filled to the brim with kick-in-the-pants Montana events and activities designed to welcome summer with open arms.

Sidenote: In case you haven’t noticed, Montana (especially in the spring) can be a bit temperamental. Heck, we’ve even been known to call her a drama queen. But drama or not, we still love the gorgeous girl. ‘Just be sure to roll with the punches and pack appropriate attire to be ensure you stay cozy all weekend long.

To help make this weekend one for the record books, your messy-haired Montana-lovin’ blond friend created a “Top 10 Things to do in Western Montana this Memorial Day” list. (That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Biking in Glacier National Park
May 25 – 27
There are no time restrictions in place for bicyclists on the Going-to-the-Sun Road this weekend, which means cyclists can ride to their heart’s delight on open portions of the road. An added bonus: biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most memorable ways to experience the park.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Bigfork Whitewater Festival
May 25 & 26
While this year marks the 38th year for the Bigfork Whitewater Festival, it’s also the year that the festival is mixing it up and adding new events and races to the roster. New this year: raft races, a Stand-Up Paddle Board Race, triathlon and kid’s activities. Rounding out the weekend is the Whitewater Weekend Jam, with live music on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Zip lines at Whitefish Mountain Resort
May 25 – 27, Call 877.SKI.FISH
While the mountain officially opens for the summer season on June 15, zip lines are rocking and rolling this weekend! Tours go rain or shine (luckily for us!), so be sure to wear a rain jacket and closed-toed shoes.

Flying high above Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Flying high above Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Loon & Fish Festival, Seeley Lake
May 24 – 26
This free community event celebrates local art and wildlife, with art demonstrations, wildlife programs, films and children’s activities.

St. Regis Annual Flea Market
May 25 – 27
As Montana’s flea largest market, this is a not-to-be-missed event. Scoop up local bargains, fill your bellies on Montana treats and bask in the treasures found at more than 200 vendor booths in St. Regis.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Bigfork
May 24 & 25
Okay, so it’s not a real spelling bee, but the Bigfork Summer Theater’s performance of the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with enough laughs to make your weekend a happy one.

Farmers Markets
May 25
The communities of Bigfork, Hamilton, Kalispell, Missoula and Stevensville are hosting farmers markets on Saturday, where you can pick up a plethora of local goodness.

Soak up the sun at the Missoula Farmers Market. ('Just be sure to bring a jacket!)

Soak up the sun at the Missoula Farmers Market. (‘Just be sure to bring a jacket!)

Live Tunes at The Raven, Woods Bay
May 24 – 26
Situated on the shore of Flathead Lake, The Raven is hosting live music all weekend long! The Lil’ Smokies will be busting their tunes Friday night, followed by DJs spinning sweet beats on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Kids’ Day at the Carousel, Missoula
May 25
Happy 18th birthday to A Carousel for Missoula! In honor of their birthday, the Carousel is giving away free rides ALL day on Saturday. Happy birthday to you, you lovely little treasure!

Celebrate the Carousel's birthday with a ride on one of the hand-carved horses.

Celebrate the Carousel’s birthday with a ride on one of the hand-carved horses.

Tunes at Symes Hot Springs, Hot Springs
May 24 – 26
Kick back and soak in the natural hot springs at Symes Hot Springs Hotel. In honor of Memorial Day, the hotel is hosting live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. PS: Be sure to swing over to Camas Organic Market for weekend treats.

Wishing you all a safe, happy, fun-filled and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!


May in Montana: Farmers Markets

The arrival of May means one thing in Montana. The season of farmers markets is upon us. And this girl is a firm believer in the fact that strolling through a local farmers market is one of the best ways to experience a community’s culture and some of the best of what they have to offer.

Sidetrack time: Last summer I was able to visit a friend in Mexico City. We hit all of the highlights of the city and I loved each and every moment that was spent there. But I’ll never forget the morning we spent at a local market. The smells and the energy, combined with an insightful look at the city’s culture, introduced me to a side of the city that I hope I never forget.

Dancers in Mexico City.

Dancers in Mexico City.


While I may be overly sentimental, I’m holding firm to the belief that local markets are a fantastic way to immerse yourself into a destination’s culture. And the farmers markets that are found throughout Western Montana’s Glacier Country are no exception. Leisurely strolling through a market on a sunny Montana day will give you a pleasant and fresh look at what makes each community so special.

Bigfork Farmers Market
Wednesdays (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturdays (9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) – June to October
Embracing all things local, this market provides products grown or made in Montana, including produce, plants, flowers, baked goodies, jams, jellies and hand-crafted arts and crafts.

Columbia Falls Farmers Market
Thursdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – mid-June to mid-September at Pinewood Park
This small town market combines live music with a family friendly atmosphere, as well as local arts and crafts, tasty food and produce.

Darby Farmers Market
Tuesdays (12 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to October at S. Main Street Park
Soak up small town charm and snag fresh produce, jams, soaps and crafts.

Eureka Farmers Market
Wednesdays (4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – May to September at Riverside Park
A hotbed of local talent and goodies, this market features produce, bedding, baked goods and arts and crafts from local Tobacco Valley artists.

It's farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

It’s farmers market time in Eureka, Montana.

Hamilton Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May  to October at Bedford, Second and Third streets
With more than 150 vendors all from Ravalli County, this lively market includes fresh organic produce, locally raised beef, alpaca wool, jewelry and locally harvested wood furniture.

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Hand-woven baskets. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Kalispell Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – May to October at Flathead Valley Community College
One of the oldest markets in the state, the Kalispell Farmers Market boasts a variety of goodies, including arts and crafts, meat and eggs, native plants, iron works, woven rugs, woodwork, handspun yarns, photograph and fresh produce.

Libby Farmers Market
Thursdays (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.) – May to September at Libby Chamber of Commerce
This market features live music entertainment, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, crafts and baked goods.

Missoula Markets
Tuesdays (5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – July & August; Saturdays (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – May to October at North Higgins and under the Higgins Street Bridge
An integral part of summer in Missoula, farmers markets feature fresh local produce, baked goods, organic dairy products, locally brewed coffee, flowers and crafts. An added bonus: The People’s Market is just up the street and is held every Saturday through the summer.

Live music in Missoula.

Live music in Missoula.

Polson Farmers Market
Fridays (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – mid-May to October
Located at the southern end of Flathead Lake, this market offers fresh farm produce, flowers, wood crafts, jewelry, photography and soap products.

Stevensville Farmers Market
Saturdays (May to October)
Located in the heart of downtown, the Stevensville market features local goods.

Seeley Lake Farmers Market
Sundays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – June to September
This outdoor market features locally grown produce, as well as artists and local food vendors.

Thompson Falls Farmers Market
Saturdays (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) – June to September at Rose Garden Park
This community market is known for its locally grown produce, craft items and baked goods, as well as handicrafts created by local area artists that include paintings, leatherwork, pottery and quilts.

West Glacier Farmers Market
Fridays (3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) – June to Labor Day 
This quaint afternoon market showcases local products from farmers and artisans. Bonus: It’s steps away from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.

Whitefish Farmers Market
Tuesdays (5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) – May to September at Central Avenue & Depot Park
One of the liveliest markets in the region, the Whitefish Farmers Market features live music, fresh herbs and spices, food vendors, produce and locally made arts and crafts.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.

The Whitefish market features a different musician each week.


Montana: This is Winter Country

Winter arrived late to Western Montana. My guess? She wanted to make an entrance. And that’s fine with me…I’m not going to point fingers, cuss her out or give her the silent treatment. Why? Because she’s here now and let’s face it, she really looks quite lovely.

In the last week, fresh powder has fallen on our ski areas, snowmobile trails and mountain meadows, making everyone around here giddy with excitement, anticipation and a hankering that can only be relieved from playing in the snow.

And play we will.

As part of the Montana experience of winter, several communities host events and activities that showcase this season, and her slightly rambunctious attitude, at its finest. And with so many things to choose from, I’ve compiled some of my suggestions to help ensure that winter treats you like a lady. (Or a gentleman).

Some of my suggestions:

Seeley Lake Winterfest, Seeley Lake
While Seeley Lake is a bootie-kickin’ year-round destination, they do it up right in the winter. Winterfest, held January 20 – 22, features a snow sculpture contest, torchlight parade, bonfire, desserfest (yes, please) and live entertainment. The Seeley Lake Biathlon (featuring skiing and shooting) is also held in conjunction with Winterfest.

A snow sculpture at Seeley Lake’s Winterfest.

Chinese New Year, Hot Springs
Celebrate the Chinese New Year in the cute community of Hot Springs on Saturday, January 21, with festivities including a dragon dance parade, drumming and bio-luminesce fire dancers. The bonus? Catching the fireworks from the outdoor hot springs pool at Symes Hot Springs Hotel.

Whitefish Winter Carnival, Whitefish
Held February 3 – 5, Winter Carnival is really winter at its best. The carnival includes a grand parade, fireworks display, torchlight parade and Black Star Beer Barter. And if you’re up in that neck of the woods in January, attend Whitefish Skijorning, January 27 – 29.

Whitefish Skijoring. Photo by Larry Turner.

Winter Storytelling Series, Lolo
Each year Travelers’ Rest State Park hosts a winter series that celebrates the age-old Salish tradition of sharing history through stories. This winter’s series features talks (held every Saturday) by Kootenai Tribal Members, Salish Tribal Elders, historians and authors.

A cozy cabin in the woods. Photo by Donnie Sexton.

Happy winter,

PS: For sweet travel deals, check out the DEALS page on glaciermt.com.

Montana Summer: Let’s Plan For Fun

Happy June!

Can you believe I just wrote that? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the last few months have absolutely flown by…but I’m not even mad about it. Because that means summer is HERE! Well, almost. (It’s coming, I promise.)

For many of you, you may be planning your vacation to Montana this year, still deciding where you’re heading or heck, maybe you’re on your way to us now. To help you in your decision, we’ve pulled together some events and happenings that are sure to make your vacation a little bit sweeter.

Western Heritage Days
The quaint community of Stevensville hosts Western Heritage Days, June 17 – 18. The celebration marks 170 years of Stevensville as a community and includes a parade, St. Mary’s Mission tours, dancing and a chuckwagon cook-off.

St. Mary's Mission, Stevensville

Libby Logger Days
Held June 23 – 26 in the northwest corner of Montana, Libby Logger Days is an educational event that shares the forestry culture with attendees. The festivities include a carnival, boxing smoker, kids logging competition, parade, live music, lawn mower races and an adult logging competition.

David Thompson Days
For folks looking to stroll 200 years back in time, head to Thompson Falls to participate in David Thompson Days, held July 2, where re-enactors replicate the lifestyle of early North American exploration, survival and trade. As part of the festivities, you’ll see historic displays and demonstrations, primitive arts and crafts, live music and games. David Thompson Days take a special look at explorer David Thompson (1770 – 1857), who traveled more than 50,000 miles by foot, horse and canoe as he mapped many of the uncharted territories in upper North America.

North American Indian Days
This year, North American Indian Days marks its 60th annual celebration July 7 – 10 on the Blackfeet Nation in Browning. One of the largest gatherings of North American tribes, the event provides insight into Blackfeet traditions, with dancing, traditional games and a rodeo.

North American Indian Days, Browning.

Flathead Cherry Festival
Held July 16 – 17 in Polson, the Flathead Cherry Festival celebrates the sweet, dark cherry that grows in orchards along the shores of Flathead Lake. The festival includes a cherry pie eating contest, quilting contest and is a great family event. Plus, a stellar crop is expected for this year’s harvest.

Huckleberry Festival
Located in Trout Creek, this festival celebrates the beloved purple berry and is held August 12 – 14. The festival includes a parade, street dance, auction, children’s activities and numerous craft and food vendors. Small town fun at its best!

Mmm, huckleberries. Photo courtesy Donnie Sexton/Montana Office of Tourism

River City Roots Festival
Held August 27 – 28, the River City Roots Fest is Missoula at its finest. The festival includes all-day music stages, a juried art show, family activities and a 4K walk/run.

For more events happening throughout the summer, visit glaciermt.com.