News
May 27, 2024
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Flathead Beacon

2024 Can’t-Miss Summer Events in the Flathead

By Mike Kordenbrock

While the Flathead offers seemingly endless opportunities to get out and enjoy nature, summertime also brings plenty of fun-filled events to suit a range of interests and age groups. This summer, the Flathead will play host to rodeos, an improv comedy troupe, arts festivals, legendary musicians and more. 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 2024

May 25 through Sept. 7

The Blue Moon Arena in Columbia Falls hosts a weekly rodeo including bull riding, bareback, saddle bronc, ranch bronc, barrel racing, breakaway roping, team roping, steer riding and junior bareback competition. The rodeo typically takes place on Thursday nights. On Aug. 9, a special Bull Bash rodeo will take place. Gates for the rodeo open at 5:30 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 7 p.m. The May 25 and Sept. 7 rodeos start at 6 p.m. The Blue Moon Arena is located at 167 Half Moon Rd. in Columbia Falls behind the Blue Moon Nite Club. For more information: www.glaciercountryrodeo.com

Whose Live Anyway?

June 2-June 4

This improv event at Flathead Valley Community College’s Wachholz College Center features the current cast of the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” taking prompts from the audience, and according to promotional materials, some audience members may even be asked to come on stage. The show runs for 90 minutes and is open to all ages, although some “PG-13” language will be included. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information: www.wachholzcollegecenter.org

Outriders Present’s Summer Shows at Scout + Gather

June 15, July 6, Aug. 6, Aug. 18

The group behind the Under The Big Sky music festival has a slate of shows planned this summer at The Remington Bar in Whitefish and at Scout + Gather in Columbia Falls. The lineup at Scout + Gather looks particularly strong, with shows headlined by Charley Crockett (June 15), Shakey Graves (July 6), Elle King (August 16) and The Head and The Heart (August 18). Scout + Gather is at 28 Scout Lane in Columbia Falls. For more information: outriderspresent.com.

Festival Amadeus 2024

June 21-June 22

This annual classical music festival put on by the Glacier Symphony kicks off on Friday, June 21, with a Solstice Concerto Celebration at McClaren Hall, the recently completed concert space in Flathead Valley Community College’s Wachholz College Center. Saturday night the festival continues with a night of opera featuring performances of selected Mozart operas, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and the Magic Flute. Festival Amadeus events start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online in advance. The Wachholz College Center is located at 795 Grandview Dr. in Kalispell. For more information: www.glaciersymphony.org/concerts

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: An American Salute

July 5 and July 6

Glacier Symphony’s annual summer pops concert this year will have an “American Salute” theme and is set to include movie music selected for its associations with patriotism and the West. Music by Leroy Anderson, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Morton Gould, Cole Porter and Aaron Copland will also be among the pieces performed. Attendees are encouraged to bring comfy chairs and blankets, and picnic tables are available for rental. Food, drink and alcoholic beverages will also be available from vendors. Tickets can be purchased online. Events on both nights begin at 7:30 p.m. Rebecca Farm is located at 1010 W. Spring Creek Rd. in Kalispell. For more information: www.glaciersymphony.org

The Event at Rebecca Farm

July 17-July 21

This multiway equestrian triathlon competition draws thousands of people to Rebecca Farm for its Olympic qualifier level courses, and competitions that go through the three eventing disciplines of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Spectators will be able to shop from vendors featuring regionally made goods, art, apparel and jewelry. Food concessionaires will also be on site, and there is a Kid Zone area with pony rides, face painting and other activities. Rebecca Farm is located at 1010 W. Spring Creek Rd. in Kalispell. For more information: www.rebeccafarm.org

Arts in the Park

July 12-July 14

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. Attendees can also visit community partner booths with free activities. Each day will include multiple live music performances, and there will be a wine and beer garden onsite and food trucks. Ticket sales support the Hockaday’s educational art exhibitions and programs, and can be purchased online. Children 12 and under get in free. Arts in the Park is Located at Depot Park in downtown Kalispell. For more information: www.hockadaymuseum.com/park/

Under the Big Sky

July 14-July 16

Headlined by Miranda Lambert, Billy Strings and the Turnpike Troubadours, the festival features more than 30 musical performances. In addition to live music, the festival will also have rodeo events, trail rides, a petting zoo, arts and merchandise vendors, food and beverages. The festival takes place at Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information: www.underthebigskyfest.com

Columbia Falls Heritage Days

July 24-July 28

This multiday community celebration of Columbia Falls history includes a car show, a community concert, 5k and 10k races, arts, crafts and food vendors, games, a parade and more. The Heritage Days schedule could change, so check online for updates. For more information: www.cfallsheritagedays.com

An Evening with Judy Collins

July 24

The celebrated, longtime folk singer and songwriter from Seattle will be playing at the Wachholz College Center this summer. A Grammy-Award-winning performer who is now in her 80s, Collins debut studio album was released in 1961. Some of her most famous songs include her cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now” and her version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.” For more information: www.wachholzcollegecenter.org

Los Lobos: 50th Anniversary Tour

July 26

The Grammy Award-winning, iconic Chicano rock band from East L.A., which saw its rise to stardom accelerated by the success of its 1987 “La Bamba” soundtrack, still has its founding members in the fold. Los Lobos will be stopping in Kalispell to play one night at FVCC’s Wachholz College Center as part of their 50th anniversary tour. Tickets can be purchased online. For information: wachholzcollegecenter.org

Bigfork Festival of the Arts

Aug. 3-Aug. 4

The festival, now in its 46th year, 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. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. For more information: www.bigfork.org

Yo-Yo Ma

Aug. 3

The famous cellist will be performing at FVCC’s Wachholz College Center for one night in August. The show has been sold out since tickets went on sale in September of 2023. But it might still be worth looking around to see if anyone is trying to part ways with tickets due to a change of plans. This is believed to be Ma’s first performance in Montana since 2004. For more information: www.wachholzcollegecenter.org

Great Bear Beer Festival

Aug. 10

The annual festival in Kalispell offers a taste of local and regional beers, wines and hard ciders. Food trucks, games 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. Festival goes from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.  For more information: www.greatbearfestival.com

Huckleberry Days Arts Festival

Aug. 9-Aug. 11

The 35th Annual Huckleberry Days Arts Festival in past years has included more than 100 artists and food vendors. The free admission fair highlights hand-crafted items and there will events and activities on location and around town with an emphasis on huckleberries. Located at Depot Park in Whitefish. For more information: www.explorewhitefish.com

Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo

Aug. 13-Aug. 18

This year’s fair is expected to feature more than 100 commercial exhibitors and over 8,000 exhibits from regional residents. In addition to the PRCA rodeo, the fair will also includes carnival rides, fair food, live music 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

2024 Whitefish Summer Concert Series

June 28-June 30; July 26-July 28; Aug. 16-Aug. 18

The Whitefish Theatre Company will be hosting three different tribute concert series starting with The Music of The Beach Boys in June. In July, there will be three nights of The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel, followed by a trio of August nights dedicated to the music of Huey Lewis & The News. The O’Shaughnessy Center is located at 1 Central Ave. in Whitefish. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information: whitefishtheatreco.org