EXPERIENCE FESTIVALS ALL ACROSS THE WESTERN 406
They say, “If you’re lucky enough to live in Montana, you’re lucky enough.” Come to think of it, there are a whole slew of sayings that are particularly true of our region, another being, “Live a life you don’t need a vacation from.” When it’s mid-July and the sky is big and blue and the air is filled with music and our fingertips are berry stained, let’s face it, why would we leave?
Filling your calendar with these festivals to feast your ears and taste buds on is one way to round the bases of our state and get our summertime fill. Gas up, gear up, listen up, and chow down. Ready? Set? Go.
Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival, Polson — July 15-16
Life is just a bowl of cherries, right? The juicy sweetness certainly makes up for the pits. Local folks have enjoyed Flathead cherries since before the 1930s and often planned their summer vacations around visiting their favorite orchards. With fun for the whole family, this cherry festival is brimming with pie-eating contests, pit-spitting, and vendors for local shopping. The contests will take place in front of the Cove Deli and Pizza at 11 Third Ave. W., just off Main Street. Visit FlatheadCherryFestival.com for more information and updates.
St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival, near Philipsburg (15 miles from venue) or Anaconda (20 miles from venue) — July 16 and 23, August 6 and 20
Nothing says summer music festival quite like a blanket on the grass and a picnic basket full of good eats. Pack up dinner and enjoy musical excellence in an intimate, acoustically-divine venue at 7,000 feet, complete with breath-taking views of the Anaconda Pintlers and Georgetown Lake. July 16 will be the Montana Chamber Music Society with Muir Members and Guests, July 23 is Karen Herrin of Deer Lodge, August 6 will be the Five Valley Sweet Adelines, Rocky Mountainaires, and Brice Todd, and lastly, August 20 is the I-90 Collective. All concerts are held on Sundays at 4 p.m. Adult tickets are $20, 18 and younger tickets are $15. Visit StTimothysMusic.org/2017-Season-Performers for more information and updates.
Hardtime Bluegrass Festival, Hamilton — July 24-26
Listen closely to the sounds of the fiddle, banjo, and mandolin and let this old time western scene enrich the traditional bluegrass music. This festival is geared toward the whole family for good, clean fun in a beautiful setting. Adults are $15 and children 12 years and younger are $7 for the entire weekend. Dry camping is also available for $15 for the weekend. Just want to make a lazy Sunday out of it? Take advantage of the Sunday-only discount new this year for $10. Camping is available in the trees on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no RV hook-ups available, but bring your leashed dog for some company! Festival site opens for camping Thursday, July 20 at 10 a.m. For more information call 406.821.3777 or visit HardTimesBluegrass.com.
Festival Amadeus, Whitefish — August 8-13
In its ninth year, Festival Amadeus is Montana’s only week-long summer classical music festival. Taking place in Whitefish, one of the most scenic corners of our state, this festival is only a short drive from the natural splendor of Glacier National Park if you’re looking for a two-in-one type of getaway. The festival centers on the music of Mozart and other classical-era composers. Experience an engaging line-up of highly acclaimed musicians that will perform with the Festival Amadeus Orchestra and in more intimate chamber concerts. Favorited by music lovers old and new, Festival Amadeus has become an annual destination for folks around the state and beyond. The Festival Amadeus Orchestra is a classical chamber orchestra comprised of select musicians from the Glacier Symphony with invited musicians from Montana and the northwest region. For tickets, pricing, and directions, visit GSCMusic.org/Festival-Amadeus.
Huckleberry Festival, Trout Creek — August 11-13
You never really know the true deliciousness of a huckleberry until you, firstly, eat one, and secondly, learn that grizzly bears will eat about 30,000 of them a day prior to hibernation. More than 30 years ago, the Huckleberry Festival was started in the little town of Trout Creek by a group of artists who sought a spot to sell their huckleberry creations. The festival is put on solely by volunteers from the Trout Creek community and has grown throughout the years. Food vendors feature the tasty “purple gold” in huckleberry ice cream cones, on cheesecake, in drinks, and in a variety of desserts. Yum! The Trout Creek Fire Department offers its Saturday and Sunday morning Huckleberry pancake breakfasts, and both children and adults alike bake the tastiest recipes they know for the honor of competing in the Huckleberry Dessert Contest. More than 100 arts and crafts vendors will display and sell their wares at the Trout Creek Community Park, and festivities will include on-stage entertainment, the Huckleberry Festival Parade, a Huckleberry 5K Run, dancing under the stars, Huckleberry Hounds Dog Agility Demonstration, Huckleberry Homesteader Pentathlon, food by community groups, Little Miss and Huck Finn Talent Contest, the Huckleberry Auction, children’s activities, a horseshoe contest, and an interfaith worship service on Sunday morning. Visit HuckleberryFestival.com for more information.