Those of you living in the South probably wish you could find a shady spot and hibernate with a cold glass of sweet tea during the months of July and August, but here in Montana, things are hopping. Our short Montana summers are the perfect time for outdoor art and craft shows, and Flathead Valley has no shortage of them. In this post, I'm giving you the list of five biggest and best shows in the area, so if you're visiting Glacier National Park this summer, you might want to time your visit around one (or more of these shows).
Arts In The Park, Kalispell, MT
The following festivals are listed in chronological order and not in order of my preference. My personal favorite is Bigfork Festival of the Arts, but it takes place in the second half of the summer, so you'll find it listed in spot number 4.
- Whitefish Arts Festival, Whitefish, MT - This year, the event takes place from July 5th through 7th. It is always held in Depot Park in downtown Whitefish, and 2019 will mark its 40th year. The name of the game at this event is quality and variety. Yes, you can find quality Western art and crafts in more than one medium here. The festival is sponsored by Whitefish Christian Academy.
- Artists & Craftsmen of the Flathead Summer Show, Kalispell, MT - This event barely made the list of five (it tied with Flathead Lake Festival of Art in Polson, MT), but because your favorite wire wrangler and boss lady is a member of this group of artists and craftspeople, it couldn't be left out. The show also takes place July 5th through 7th this year. It used to be held outdoors, in the park by Flathead County Justice Center in downtown Kalispell, but this year, it's moving indoors, into the Trade Building at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. So, if it gets too hot for you outdoors or if you get rained out, head on to the Fairgrounds and shop some art and quality crafts. The show is in its 38th year. By the way, if you still want to visit the festival in Polson, its dates are July 27th and 28th.
- Arts In The Park, Kalispell, MT - 100 art and fine craft booths pop up in the Depot Park in downtown Kalispell every July to raise awareness of and benefit the Hockaday Museum of Art. All proceeds from admission sales benefit the museum's programs and mission. This year, Arts In The Park will take place July 12th through 14th. Daily admission costs $4.00 (children age 6 and under - free), while the weekend pass is $5.00.
- Bigfork Festival of the Arts, Bigfork, MT - In its 41st year this year, this fun show fills the main streets of the village of Bigfork with a fine selection of arts, crafts, food, music, and other entertainment. The show will take place August 3rd and 4th. If you're driving into town, make sure you park in one of the shuttle parking lots as finding a parking space in Bigfork during the festival is virtually impossible.
- Huckleberry Days, Whitefish, MT - Yes, you'll find a huckleberry pie bake-off at this annual event, but it's not all just about huckleberries. With 120 artists and food vendors as well as live entertainment, this event is as fun to attend as any of the other four shows listed here. It takes place in the Depot Park in Whitefish, and the dates this year are August 9th through 11th.
Whichever of these shows you choose to visit, make sure you're ready to spend some money as there will be many booths that seem to call your name. Trust me, I'm speaking from experience here.
Want to make sure you visit a show your favorite Buckaroo Bling wire wrangler and boss lady is exhibiting at? Won't be in the Flathead Valley this summer? Check the list of events below for those we'll be participating in this summer.