Seven unique summer festivals you can only find in Montana
In addition to exploring the beautiful nature of the backcountry, Montana’s cities come alive in the summer with a variety of unforgettable events. These festivals bring the culture and heritage of Montana to life by bringing together the state’s food, music, and businesses. Visitors looking to explore the best that this state has to offer may want to plan to attend one of these events, because these are the unique summer festivals that you’ll only find in Montana.
The Montana Folk Festival in Butte is one of the Northwest's largest free outdoor music festivals, featuring performances and demonstrations by more than 200 musicians, dancers, and craftspeople. The event, which brings together more than 165,000 visitors, is held in the heart of Butte's historic district. Combining world-class folk music with beautiful views of the mountains, The Montana Folk Festival will call to music lovers of all ages.
Red Ants Pants Music Festival was founded in 2011 by Red Ants Pants Foundation, a non-profit which fosters leadership in women and supports rural communities. Located a short drive away from Helena and Bozeman in the town of White Sulphur Springs, this festival brings together families, travelers from across the country, and some of the biggest names in music for three days of music and entertainment. Each year over 250 volunteers make Red Ants Pants Music Festival possible, creating a wonderful and welcoming event. Lodging fills up fast for this festival, so those interested in attending should book their lodge, cabin, or camping accommodations soon.
The Livingston Hoot is a sponsored event in the heart of downtown Livingston. Created by two veteran music producers in 2014, this concert brings music to the people on the historic main street. Local vendors also set up shop outside to sell food, drinks, art and more to visitors. With beautiful views of the mountains behind a variety of folk favorites performing on stage, Livingston proves to be a perfect outdoor venue for music.
For those looking to spend time in one of Montana’s liveliest cities this summer, the Sweet Pea Festival in Bozeman is a can’t-miss event. This three day art festival has something to offer visitors both young and old – music of all genres, performances from local theatre and dance groups, and family-friendly entertainment. The festival also features a Montana beer and wine garden and over 100 arts and crafts vendors from local businesses. This is a showcase of the best that Bozeman’s thriving art scene has to offer, making the Sweet Pea Festival the perfect summer activity for the whole family.
The huckleberry is a unique and tasty berry which grows in the high mountains of Montana. For more than 30 years, the northeast town of Trout Creek, the huckleberry capital of Montana, has celebrated this local delicacy with the Huckleberry Festival, a three day event that combines music, contests, and even a parade in honor of the sweet treat. Visitors can try a variety of huckleberry-inspired fare, including ice cream, cheesecake, smoothies, and more. No matter what your sweet tooth desires, this is sure to be one of the tastiest festivals you’ve ever attended.
Crow Fair is an annual event held on the Crow Indian Reservation near Billings, which welcomes more than 50,000 visitors across the world to celebrate the tribe’s rich history and culture. As one of the largest Native American events in North America, Crow Fair serves as both a celebration and family reunion. Each day begins with a parade, followed by a large dance celebration and rodeo, as well as a number of contests and games. This is the perfect event for those looking to immerse themselves in the history and heritage of the state, as Crow Fair is one of the most unique celebrations in Montana.
You won’t find a festival like this anywhere else. Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Western Rendezvous is a four-day cultural event dedicated to celebrating the history and heritage of the cowboy lifestyle in the upper Rocky Mountain west. Each year over 120 poets, musicians, and artists from the western United States and Canada gather to share their cowboy-inspired art. Located in Lewistown, this unique assortment of cowboys, poetry, and music make for a memorable adventure.