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.
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