The Fourth of July brings to mind stars and stripes, sidewalk sparklers and grand firework displays, family gatherings and backyard barbecues, ice cold beer and lemonade (both, if you enjoy a nice shandy), Springsteen and President Whitmore’s speech, not to mention an extra day off for many. Familiar associations aside, Independence Day is a time for the nation’s communities to come together and celebrate America’s birthday. So don your red, white and blue for a fun-filled Fourth! Here’s a breakdown of some commemorative local events.
Dress your best and get the day started with some endorphins! Reach Inc. hosts their 12th annual Race for Independence beginning at 8am. The race features a 10K, 5K and 1K following a gorgeous course, mostly on trails. The friendly contest raises crucial funds that support adults with developmental disabilities in our community to live as independently as possible. The fun begins and ends at the Reach Inc. Work Center, located at 322 Gallatin Park Drive. Register at www.reachinc.org or in person during office hours. Call (406) 587-1271 for more info.
After the race, head over the Bozeman Pass for day three of the Livingston Depot’s 32nd annual Festival of the Arts from 10am–5pm. The event will feature the work of over a hundred fine artists and crafters from Montana and the western region. Vendors will present oil paintings, photography, woodwork, ceramics, jewelry, iron, apparel, repurposed antiques, stained glass, herbals, toys and more. The homemade pie booth returns again this year, alongside a variety of area food vendors. Attendees can also enjoy the adjacent Depot Museum’s historic rail and Yellowstone exhibits, as well as this year’s special exhibit, “Danforth at the Depot.” The festival is a fun opportunity to stroll in the summer air and enjoy food, pies, art and friends during Livingston’s famous Fourth of July weekend. Note: the event will also be held from 10am–6pm, July 2nd and 3rd.
The popular Ennis Fourth of July Rodeo Parade begins at 10am. One of the Madison Valley’s most celebrated events, the traditional parade follows a route through historic Downtown Ennis. Horses, floats, marching bands, and classic cars highlight the yearly gathering, drawing crowds in the hundreds to the Main Street shopping district. Make a day trip out of it and take in some rodeo later in the evening.
Back in Bozeman, Museum of the Rockies hosts its annual Ice Cream Social at the Living History Farm from 2–4pm. Join for this old-fashioned Bozeman tradition to enjoy cones of delicious ice cream, live music, historic games and crafts, and traditional Fourth of July festivities.
The Arts Council of Big Sky’s Music in the Mountains free summer concert series continues with a special Independence Day celebration at Center Stage in Town Center Park. The anticipated gathering will again feature a performance by The Tiny Band at 7pm. With a lineup of Bozeman’s most accomplished musicians, their repertoire is a blend of Motown, rock, soul and pop standards that keeps the dance floor pulsing. The Tiny Band brings big vocals, high energy and anything but a tiny sound. Celebrate America’s birthday at Big Sky’s biggest event, complete with the region’s best fireworks show at dusk.
Take in some Cowboy State country before the fireworks with Downtown Bozeman’s red, white and blue Music on Main. Wyoming-based Tris Munsick & the Innocents performs at 7pm. The band plays dance music and covers a wide variety of songs ranging from barroom standards to more edgy original works. If ‘real country’ is what you’re looking for, these fellas have your fix! An Innocents show is designed to keep people dancing and having a good time.
And of course, Gallatin Empire Lions Club will present the annual Festival of the Fourth at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. Local ensemble the Lazy Owl String Band will get the evening started with a performance at 9pm, followed by the annual firework show at 10:30pm. Area food vendors will be on hand with delicious bites for purchase, including HuckinMT, Bubby’s Cuppa Joe, Chef’s Table and Blue Moose BBQ. Open to the public, donations to the event hosts are encouraged.
Further details about these Fourth of July and other upcoming events can be found throughout this issue of The BoZone. •