Local Activities in Missoula March–August
Missoula is regarded as a major destination for cultural events, concerts, theater, and festivals. It is also a wonderful place to spend time outdoors. We have hiking, fishing, biking, skiing, and so much more.
Each spring UM celebrates International Week, featuring a food bazaar, musical and dance performances, and informational and educational sessions. Each year the International Student Association presents the International Culture and Food Festival with assistance from the Foreign Student and Scholar Services office. This is one of the biggest public events at UM and easily attracts over 4,000 people to this day-long festival. Fellows will have the opportunity to sample foreign foods, watch international performances, check out exhibits from many countries, experience cultural demonstrations, and children can participate in numerous multi-cultural events, while obtaining a "passport", in Children's World.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is followed by traditional Irish food, music and dance.
Easter Egg Hunt:
Fellows may accompany their host families to western Montana’s largest egg hunt, sponsored by the University. The four-acre central campus lawns are adorned with more than 20,000 prize eggs and 25,000 pieces of candy while UM mascot Monte the Bear and the Easter Bunny make special appearances.
The Foresters’ Ball is a 90-year-old tradition that is a scholarship fundraiser for students who volunteer their time, regardless of their major or departmental affiliation. The Ball is a themed dance that takes students two weeks to decorate, offering an experience that is entirely unique to Missoula and the state of Montana.
Earth Day Activities:
Missoula sponsors a variety of Earth Day activities. Fellows may try one event or choose to be “eco-pentathletes” by riding bikes from event to event, working at each of the following: the annual Mt. Sentinel Earth Day Weed Pull and Prairie Restoration work party; the annual clean-up of the Clark Fork River through downtown Missoula; sorting recyclables at the UM Recycle Shed; Build a Bike at the Festival of Cycles; and help with PEAS Farm chores such as making compost.
Entirely organized by UM students, this event has become the unofficial start of the spring powwow circuit in the Northern Rockies, attracting competitors from the East Coast, the Southwest and Canada. A week of events leads up to singing, dancing and drumming. Festivities include dance exhibitions, traditional games, and arts and crafts. The University also sponsors an accompanying conference sponsored by the Native American Law Students Association and the Division of Educational Research and Service.
Missoula Farmers Market:
Fellows will begin their day with breakfast at the Missoula Farmers Market. A local institution which rivals the size of farmer’s markets in much larger cities, the Market carries fresh local produce, baked goods and coffee provided by over 100 vendors in an outdoor setting. Forty percent of the produce vendors come from Missoula’s Hmong population. A representative of the Missoula Refugee Assistance Corporation will facilitate meetings with the Hmong vendors to discuss the economic and social motivations of the Hmong families selling at the Market, owning versus renting land and the pressures of land development.
First Friday Gallery Night:
First Friday Gallery Night features various art exhibition openings between 15 and 20 galleries and museums from local and national artists the first Friday of every month from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Beautiful art, the opportunity to meet artists, complimentary appetizers and refreshments that creates a wonderful experience for both tourists and residents.
Missoula Saturday Market:
Fellows will visit the Missoula Saturday Market, an open air street market featuring local artists and producers. A number of value-added local products can be found, including honey, salsa, jams and jellies, soaps, candles, and woolen goods.
Clark Fork River Market:
Fellows will walk to the Clark Fork River Market, specifically created by the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition to support sustainable farming systems and preserve agricultural land. Market Manager Mary Ellen Carter will discuss the actions taken by the Coalition and the specific effects that The Market has had on area farmers and ranchers. The Market provides a lively and scenic setting for buying locally-produced produce, meats, dairy products, plants, and value-added products from area farmers, ranchers and chefs. Fellows will have the opportunity to purchase lunch from a number of local and international vendors, including Brazilian stews, Argentinian empanadas, Mexican tamales, and Indian chai.
Montana Museum of Art and Culture: Exhibition: "A Hundred Years Later: Julius Seyler among the Blackfeet":
This exhibition commemorates German painter Julius Seyler's (1873-1955) centennial visit to Glacier National Park. The two years Seyler spent in Glacier among the Amskapi Pikuni (Blackfeet), Sqeilo (Salish) and K'tanaxa (Kootenai) tribes transformed the artist's work. Seyler, a celebrated German expressionist painter, trained at the influential Munich Academy.
Out to Lunch:
Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. during June, July, and August, Missoulians converge on Caras Park to enjoy a beloved local event. Out to Lunch boasts live music and food from a huge variety of restaurants and vendors.
First Friday Gallery Nights:
Held the first Friday of every month, downtown galleries, museums and several businesses showcase new artists and their artwork from 5 to 8 p.m. Share cocktails and appetizers with native and regional artists.
Bonner Park Band Concerts:
From late June through mid-August each year, the Missoula City Band performs free concerts on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. in Bonner Park, one block east of Higgins Avenue between Evans and Beverly Avenues.
Held in Caras Park, Downtown ToNight takes place every Thursday night from 5:30-8:30 in June, July, and August. The live music, a beverage garden, food vendors, and children’s activities are a fun, family-friendly way to enjoy the long, warm summer evenings in Missoula.
Annual Lewis & Clark Festival in Great Falls, Montana:
This week of Rediscovery is an opportunity to experience an incredible journey through the weathered pages of the daily journals kept by Lewis and Clark; all shared with visitors through presentation, ceremony and guided experience.
Independence Day Celebration at Fort Missoula:
4th of July at the Historical Museum is a family event featuring old time crafts, entertainment, live demonstrations, silent auction, kid’s activities, and more.
Arlee Celebration Pow Wow, Arlee Montana:
A traditional Native American Pow Wow featuring many different traditional dances and celebrations.
Living History Program at Nevada City & Virginia City, Montana:
Visitors can relive the excitement of the Gold Rush era in Montana and see what the Old West was really like. Outdoor Living History Museum in Nevada City, Montana, houses one of the largest collections of Old West Artifacts outside the Smithsonian. The site consists of 100, 1863 to early 1900 buildings, and close to 70 living history interpreters.
Montana Folk Festival in Butte, Montana:
Celebrating the unique music, culture and cuisine that are found throughout the United States, this annual Montana Folk Festival is held in Butte against the historic backdrop of this unique and culturally diverse town. Since 1934, the Festival has showcased the country’s finest traditional artists as the signature event of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Western Montana Fair:
Each year in August the Western Montana Fair draws huge crowds of Missoulians and Western Montana residents to the Missoula County Fairgrounds to celebrate “Fair Week.” What draws them in? Exhibits of all kinds, the rodeo, the carnival rides, concerts, and yes. . . the food! The fair serves up local delicacies that can only be found at the fair and people admittedly flock to feed.
River City Roots Festival:
The River City Roots Festival bills itself as a showcase for some of the region’s most talented artists (fine art and music), emphasizes family fun and fitness, and exposes the region to all the great things about Missoula.
Missoula Symphony in the Park:
This annual outdoor performance of the Missoula Symphony is held in Caras Park. The orchestra presents a program of pop tunes, movie themes, and light classics that is perfect for the entire family. Food and beverage may be purchased on-site from a number of different vendors. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy this free concert.
Festival of the Arts in Big Fork, Montana:
Chosen by Sunset Magazine as one of the most picturesque towns in the Northwest, Bigfork features its Summer Playhouse, numerous art galleries, restaurants, and unique shops on the shore of beautiful Flathead Lake. The Festival of Arts and Crafts in Bigfork is the first weekend of August.