Montana Summer Events 2023: Embrace the Spirit of Big Sky Country

Are you ready for an unforgettable summer in Montana? As the snow melts and the temperatures rise, the Treasure State comes alive with a plethora of exciting events and activities that will make your summer truly memorable. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking to have some fun in the sun, Montana has something for everyone. From Missoula to Billings and everywhere in between, here's a roundup of some of the must-attend summer events in Montana for 2023.

Bigfork Whitewater Festival - Bigfork: May 26-28, 2023

Thrill-seekers and river enthusiasts won't want to miss the Bigfork Whitewater Festival in Bigfork. This two-day event features adrenaline-pumping whitewater races on the wild and scenic Swan River, showcasing the skills of experienced kayakers and canoeists. Spectators can watch the action from the riverbank or join the festivities with live music, food vendors, and other activities. The Bigfork Whitewater Festival is a unique event that combines thrilling outdoor adventure with a lively festival atmosphere.

Governor’s Cup - Helena: June 10, 2023

The Governor's Cup is a premier running event held annually in Helena. This two-day event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon races, all showcasing the natural beauty of the Helena area. Participants can choose to run a distance that suits their fitness level and enjoy the scenic routes that wind through the town and along the mountainsides. 

Whitefish Arts Festival - Whitefish: June 30-July 2, 2023

Immerse yourself in the arts at the Whitefish Arts Festival in the picturesque town of Whitefish. This two-day event features over 100 juried artists displaying their unique creations, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. Stroll through the booths, meet the artists, and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces to take home. The festival also includes live music, food vendors, and activities for kids, making it a perfect summer outing for the whole family.

Strawberry Festival - Billings: July 8th, 2023

Celebrate the arrival of summer at the Strawberry Festival in Billings. This annual event brings vendors, musicians, and community members together for fun and festivities. Enjoy delicious strawberry treats, browse through local arts and crafts, listen to live music, and participate in various activities for all ages. The Strawberry Festival is a beloved event showcasing Billings's vibrant culture and community spirit.

Beartooth Motorcycle Rally - Red Lodge: July 13-16, 2023

If you're a motorcycle enthusiast, don't miss the Beartooth Motorcycle Rally in Red Lodge. This three-day event brings together bikers from all over the country to celebrate the freedom of the open road and the stunning scenery of the Beartooth Mountains. This ride is made especially epic because it traverses the Beartooth Pass, one of the most scenic drives in America! Enjoy live music, bike shows, and other motorcycle-themed activities in this picturesque mountain town. 

Montana Folk Festival - Butte: July 14-16, 2023

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Montana at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte. This free three-day event showcases the state's diverse music, dance, and cultural traditions with multiple stages featuring live performances, workshops, and demonstrations. From blues and bluegrass to ethnic music and dance, the Montana Folk Festival offers a unique experience that celebrates the state's cultural diversity.

Red Ants Pants Music Festival - White Sulphur Springs: July 27-30, 2023

Head to White Sulphur Springs for the Red Ants Pants Music Festival, a unique event that combines live music with the spirit of Montana's rural heritage. This four-day festival features a lineup of renowned musicians performing across multiple stages, as well as workshops, art vendors, food trucks, and camping options. The festival celebrates Montana's working culture, particularly the contributions of women, and is a fantastic blend of music, community, and outdoor fun.

Flathead Cherry Festival - Polson: July 29-30, 2023

Indulge in the sweet taste of summer at the Flathead Lake Cherry Festival in Polson. Held in the charming lake town of Polson, this annual event celebrates the harvest of cherries from the nearby orchards with live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, a cherry pit-spitting contest, and other cherry-themed activities. With the stunning Flathead Lake as the backdrop, this festival offers a unique experience to savor the flavors of Montana's cherry season.

Montana State Fair - Great Falls: July 28 - August 5, 2023

Get ready for some classic fair fun at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls. This annual event is packed with thrilling rides, live entertainment, livestock shows, and delicious fair food. With a wide range of activities for all ages, including concerts, rodeos, and exhibits, the Montana State Fair is a must-visit summer event for the whole family.

Sweet Pea Festival - Bozeman: August 4-6, 2023

Join the community of Bozeman in celebrating the arts and culture at the Sweet Pea Festival, a three-day event that features live music, art shows, a parade, and a variety of family-friendly activities. From art and crafts vendors to food trucks and live performances, the Sweet Pea Festival is a beloved summer tradition in Bozeman that brings the community together in a vibrant celebration of creativity and fun.

River City Roots Festival - Missoula: August 25-26, 2023

Get ready to groove to some live music, indulge in delicious food and drinks, and shop local at the River City Roots Festival in downtown Missoula. This free two-day event celebrates the vibrant culture and community of Missoula with live performances from local and national musicians, a lively arts and crafts market, and a variety of food vendors.

From music festivals and fairs to cultural celebrations and outdoor adventures, Montana has something for everyone to enjoy during the warm summer months. So, mark your calendars, pack your bags, and get ready to embrace the spirit of Big Sky Country at these exciting summer events in Montana in 2023!