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Fourth of July festivities across the Flathead

by Daily Interlake
| July 3, 2024 12:00 AM

The Flathead Valley and beyond will be busy with events for the weekend leading up to and through the Fourth of July holiday. 

Bigfork  

Head to Bigfork for the community’s annual Fourth of July Parade at noon. This year’s parade theme honors the parade’s grand marshal Gretchen Gates of Eva Gates Preserves, which is marking its 75th anniversary with the theme “Preserving Bigfork Traditions.”  

Parking for the parade will be in the field at the intersection of Montana highways 35 and 82. From this parking area only, a free shuttle service is available to downtown from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

Parking is not allowed downtown after 8 a.m. on July 4. There is limited handicapped parking, with a decal, at First Interstate Bank until 11 a.m.   

Due to the closure of Bigfork’s Bridge Street Bridge, parade organizers note, that this year’s event will look a bit different. Those looking to walk to downtown are reminded that no pedestrian traffic is allowed on the bridge.   

Traffic will not be allowed to turn off Montana 35 onto Grand Drive or Bridge Street after 11 a.m.  

The Bigfork Rodeo runs July 5-8, bringing professional rodeo to the Flathead Valley. Enjoy a fast-paced, high-energy rodeo. The event includes food vendors, a kids area, free parking and live music.   

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 7 p.m. The rodeo takes place at the Bigfork Montana Arean, 2840 Montana 82, Bigfork.   


Kalispell  

The annual Fourth of July Parade in Kalispell is a favorite for the holiday. The Flathead Marines host the parade through downtown beginning at 10 a.m.  

The parade travels from Center Street down Main Street past the Flathead County Historic Courthouse.  

The Flathead Valley Community Band presents “An American Celebration” concert on July 4 at Depot Park. The program begins at about 10:30 a.m. following the parade.   

The band, under the direction of Allen Slater, will play music from Sousa marches to Disney favorites. It will include patriotic music, a salute to the Armed Forces and a sing-a-along to the Montana state song.   

After the parade, head to the Conrad Mansion Museum grounds. The mansion is holding its annual Fourth of July Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until the ice cream runs out. 

This event is open to the entire community with free ice cream provided by Norm’s Soda Fountain.   

Visitors can enjoy food trucks and live music, and $5 self-guided tours of the Conrad Mansion’s interior.  

Events continue throughout the weekend.   

On July 5 and July 6, the Glacier Symphony hosts its Symphony Night at Rebecca Farm.   

The outdoor symphony pops concert is a favorite summer tradition. This year’s music is themed “American Salute” featuring grand movie music inspired by the West and patriotic selections.   

Bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the music while watching the sunset. Food and drinks are available to purchase from vendors.   

Tickets are $30 for adult general admission and $15 for child general admission. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.   

On July 5, the Big Sky Autofest & Expo holds a cruise in downtown Kalispell at 7 p.m. ahead of its car show and expo.   

The car show takes place on July 6 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Admission is free.  Cars will be on display at 10 a.m. on July 7 at Krispy Kreme in Kalispell.   


Whitefish  

The 45th annual Whitefish Arts Festival is July 5-7, at Depot Park in downtown Whitefish. It is an event that has become a highlight for many over the Fourth of July weekend and is sponsored by Whitefish Christian Academy.  

The festival is open July 5 and July 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on July 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

The festival maintains a long tradition of high-quality arts and fine crafts. The festival draws top artists and craftspeople from all over the country who work across mediums from canvas art pieces to quality jewelry to unique sculpture and metal arts and everything in between. 

The festival offers free admission to visit over 100 artist booths and food trucks.  

Then on July 4, the Whitefish Parks and Recreation is holding a Fourth of July celebration at Whitefish City Beach with fireworks and food vendors.  

There will be numerous vendors at Whitefish City Beach on July 4 including shaved ice, mini doughnuts, ice cream, corn dogs and barbecue. Vendors will open in the early evening and stay open until the fireworks start.  

The main City Beach parking lot will be closed to allow vendors to set up. Parking will be limited all day in and around City Beach.  

Traffic control will be set up by 7 p.m. on roads surrounding the beach area. The boat launch at City Beach will close at 7 p.m. Decontamination must be performed before launching in Whitefish Lake for watercraft that have ballast tanks or bags. The boat launch at Whitefish Lake State Park will close at 9 p.m.  

The fireworks, presented by the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce, will begin around 10:30 p.m. and will last approximately 30 minutes.  

The city of Whitefish is encouraging everyone to walk or bike to the beach to help alleviate parking and traffic congestion. The chamber is offering a shuttle, compliments of Rocky Mountain Transportation, from the O’Shaughnessy Center to City Beach from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  Dogs are not allowed at City Beach in both the beach and park areas. No personal fireworks, alcohol, or glass containers are allowed.  


Lakeside  

The Lakeside Fourth of July Fireworks Show is a touchstone summer event on Flathead Lake and an annual family tradition for many generations. This unique show launched from a floating barge off the shore of Lakeside brings excitement to both locals and visitors alike.  

The fireworks show begins at 11 p.m. and can be viewed from Lakeside Marina or from watercraft on Flathead Lake.  


Polson  

Polson celebrates the Fourth of July with a fireworks display and parade. The professional fireworks show takes place on July 3 at Riverside Park.  Then head to Main Street for the Fourth of July parade beginning at noon.  


Troy  

For more than 100 years, Troy has hosted its Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration.  

The celebration includes a parade at 11 a.m., a Cruisers Car Show at noon, food vendors, craft vendors, live music all day, and the largest fireworks display in the region. There will be a variety of musicians throughout the day. It all takes place in the beautiful setting of Troy’s Roosevelt Park on the Kootenai River.  

The fireworks show gets underway at 11 p.m. Bus service will be available starting after the parade. Pick up and drop off will be at Morrison Elementary, Troy High School, Troy Activity Center and Roosevelt Park.