What’s happening here in “The Garden City” in August? There are lots of events to look forward to from fun in the sun to sipping something cool in the shade! While the days are still hot, they are getting shorter which means the nights are cooling off. August is a wonderful time for short evening excursions or play time in the park. It’s also one of the nicest times to enjoy the wild birds and a beverage on one of our many decks here at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. The views overlooking the valley on the one side and the water fall on the other are beautiful. There are water lilies blooming in the koi pond and day lilies above on the garden wall. August in Missoula is a feast for the eyes as well as the pallet. There are so many outdoor activities and fine dining experiences to enjoy. You certainly won’t run out of options, so sip some of it in and enjoy!
FAMILY FOCUS… Missoula offers activities for young and old, but some of the best family fun ideas are listed by Destination Missoula so check out this link as well as the information listed below.
FESTIVALS & AREA EVENTS…
*Fairs and Festivals:
-Missoula’s Bone Ball is a fun, four legged fundraiser for the Humane Society of Western Montana. This year’s event (on August 23, 2013), is a 50th anniversary celebration- thus the theme Birthday Party Animal! It’s a fun event for a good cause and 100% of the proceeds go toward this local non-profit. So dress in your best costume and enjoy the 11th year of this annual festival with your best friend (man, woman or beast). The event is being catered by Johnny Carino’s and starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Caras Park Pavilion.
-Downtown ToNight happens in Caras Park every Thursday evening from 5:30-8:30 (June, July, August). Enjoy live music, food vendors and a weekly family event that is provided by a local organization. Kids might enjoy an obstacle course one week and learn a craft the next. A couple of August highlights will include Mismo Gymnastics and the Great Grizzly Encounter!
-The 57th annual Gun and Antique Show starts August 2nd and goes through August 4th. The quality as well as the number of items for sale always amazes me when I go. There will be 800 tables set up “floor to ceiling” in the U of M’s Adam’s Center. If you long for a piece of the old west, then this show is something you won’t want to miss. I’ve seen everything from beautifully hand carved knives to antique sewing machines- something for everyone who comes.
-The Ol’ Wild West Fest starts at 10:00 a.m. at Fort Missoula- August 3rd and 4th. This two day celebration is a really fun way to step back in history to the 1800’s. From a chuck wagon cook off, a quilt show and cowboy poetry to a cavalry encampment and gold panning, this festival spells FUN! There will be plenty of food vendors and to top it all off a grand ball! Admission is free for children 12 and younger. Just $5.00 per day for adults (or the ball) or a weekend package that includes the ball for $13.00. It’s great that this event has moved from Helena to Missoula this year!
-Out To Lunch at Caras Park offers over twenty food vendors and a different live band every Wednesday from 11:00-2:00 p.m. This is the 28th season and it’s going stronger than ever. Bring the kids because there are a variety of free activities just for them.
-Taste of The Big Sky is a first time event in Missoula and admission is free. It will be held at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field. Enjoy Montana grown foods, brews, wines and great music on Saturday, August 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Thanks, Badlander Catering, Destination Missoula and Missoula Osprey for hosting this first, annual event.
-The River City Roots Festival is a big hit in Missoula. It’s free and offers art, entertainment, food and fun to all who attend. In fact… in 2009, it was recognized as the tourism event of the year! The festival is put on by the Missoula Downtown Association. This year’s 2013 festival will take place August 23-25th. You can read all about the fun in last year’s 2012 Blue Mountain B&B blog!
-The Western Montana Fair (August 6-11) draws a lot of people to Missoula. From food vendors to the fairway to farm animals, it offers something for everyone. I like the fact that it still has that local, country feel about it. I have a lot of great childhood memories of exhibiting 4-H entries and playing in the band for the horse racing and rodeo events. This year, Brady has been asked to do a cooking presentation in the Culinary Arts building. So if you’d like to learn how to make delicious Danish Aebelskivers, come join in the fun (Friday, August 9th at 11:00 a.m.). If you want a sneak preview of this Danish Viking delight, just click on this Aebelskiver link and enjoy. We hope to see you at the fair where you will enjoy learning some new ways to dress-up this fun dish that is a cross between a pancake and a doughnut.
-Guest lecturer, Kae Cheatham, will be at Beavertail State Park giving a presentation entitled Before the Horse (American Indian horse culture). It is part of the Campfire Program/Summer Speaker Series which happens every Friday evening at beautiful Beavertail State Park. This particular lecture is scheduled for August 9th at 8:00 p.m. The drive will take approximately 30 minutes and you can call for further information (29895 Bonita Station Road Clinton, MT 59825 Phone: 406-240-0155). If you are interested in similar programs provided by Montana State Parks, click on this link.
–Missoula’s Historic Downtown Walking Tour is a perfect pairing with a night on the town, a visit to the Farmer’s Market or some great shopping. There are many interesting stories to uncover about Missoula’s past from its early architecture to its secret underground! You can also enjoy the Public Art Tour of Downtown Missoula in the same historic district! Be sure not to miss the marble statue of John Mullan, St. Francis Xavier Church, as well as the beautiful Paxon murals in the Missoula County Court House.
-The Ninemile Remount Depot and The Smokejumper Visitor Center are fascinating places to visit if you’d like to learn some history or current technology used in fighting forest fires. August is a time when smoke can get in your eyes here in Missoula, it’s the price we pay for being surrounded by beautiful, mountainous terrain. Missoula was not only the first smoke jumper training base in the nation, but currently is the largest as well! When I was a kid, I remember watching the parachute training practices which often took place very close to the Blue Mountain area. If you have a particular interest in slurry bombers or other historic planes you will also find the Museum of Mountain Flying to be of interest.
-Check our Blue Mountain B&B AREA LINKS page for other great history-related trips in Missoula and Western Montana.
*Music, Theater and Culture:
-The Missoula City Band Concert (Bonner Park, 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 7th & 14th) and The Missoula Symphony in the Park (Caras Park, 7:00 p.m. August 11th ) offer audiences an opportunity to be surrounded by music in beautiful outdoor settings. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a casual repertoire that is music for both the eyes and the ears. There is no admission fee to any of these events.
-Montana Shakespeare in the Parks is one of the most enjoyable evenings you will experience in Missoula (or elsewhere in Montana). To make it truly delightful, bring some wine and cheese and a picnic blanket! Be sure to come a bit early so you get good seating. The schedule for Missoula is as follows: The Recruiting Officer on August 26th and Henry V on August 27th. Outdoor seating is at the U of M Oval at 6:00. In case of a downpour, the production will take place in the University Center Theater. If you are unable to attend either of the Missoula evenings, you can enjoy The Recruiting Officer in Hamilton at The Daily Mansion on the 28th. Henry V will be presented at the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge on the 31st of August. Same times, just different places!
-Huey Lewis, Eden Atwood and Friends present Soulsville- a benefit for the Interface Project at the MCT theater on Friday, August 2nd at 6:00 p.m. Atwood is a jazz singer, voice coach and local celebrity. To learn more about tickets or the Interface Project, go to www.interfaceproject.org or call 406-480-6228. You can also click on the following Missoulian Newspaper link to read a fascinating and educational article about this upcoming concert.
-Travelers’ Rest State Park will host its 3rd annual summer concert and BBQ (August 1st, 5:00-9:00 p.m.). The proceeds support their K-12 educational programs which are based around both history and nature. This year’s featured artists include Shane Clouse and Kevin Van Dort. Travelers’ Rest is just down the road from Blue Mountain B&B so we enjoy attending events and hosting their winter time guest speakers. It’s one of our favorite non-profits to support and thus last year’s concert event is written up in the following Blue Mountain B&B blog link.
-The Wilma Theater always has something going on so it’s best to click on this link to find out more.
-The Missoula Farmers’ Market has been an on-going Missoula event for four decades at Circle Square and goes from May through October (Saturdays 8:30-noon). To get there, go to the north end of Higgins Avenue (the location of the Northern Pacific Rail Road Depot and the sculptures of John Mullan and the red X’s). An extension of the Farmer’s Market fun occurs just down the way on Pine Street at The People’s Market which showcases arts and crafts. Walk even further south and you will hit the Clark Fork River Market which is under the Higgins Street Bridge (8:00-1:00 p.m.) Yes indeed, Missoula loves its open air markets! When you’re all done make sure you continue with the fun with a visit and ride on the Carousel. If you can’t hit one of the Saturday Markets, then you can enjoy a version of The Farmer’s Market each Tuesday (July-September 5:30-7:00 p.m).
-Missoula loves its Grizzly Football Team, evidence of which can be seen throughout the entire town. Griz fans from far and near will flock to the stadium for our opening game against Appalachain State- one of the top teams in the FCS. So even though August 31st seems like the “last” day of summer, it’s the first day to usher in the 2013 Grizzly Football season! This year, The Griz will play 12 games for the first time in five years. It should be another exciting season of football with six home games to look forward to. Go Griz!
-Missoula Osprey Baseball in Ogren Park Allegiance Field is a real hit with everyone. It sports beautiful views of the mountains at sunset and is situated alongside the Clark Fork River. To say the least, catching an Osprey game is a super fun way to spend an evening in Missoula. (Home games are Aug. 1-3, 4-6, 13-19, 31) Click on the provided Osprey link for game times and ticket information.
If getting out in nature is more of your game, then Missoula offers some great river guide and horse back riding adventures. Here is a list of some of our favorites, so check them out! Blackfoot River Outfitters, Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures and Dunrovin Ranch. If you want to try your hand at rock climbing or other outdoor sports, then The Trail Head is the place to get your gear and some good advise!
FOOD AND SPIRITS…
-Dining Outdoors: Many Missoula restaurants offer lovely outdoor dining experiences with large patio gardens or views. Some Missoula favorites include Caffe Dolce, The Depot, Finn and Porter, The Iron Horse, Jakers, The Keep, Rattlesnake Gardens and Scotty’s Table. A few of our casual favorites offer simple street-side bisto tables or cool indoor retreats, including Biga Pizza, Ciao Mambo and Iza. Many of these restaurants offer gluten-free menus which is nice.
-Indoor Elegance: If you are truly looking for a unique and outstanding culinary treat, we recommend both The Pearl and The Silk Road! Both offer lovely indoor seating and a few tables on the street outside. The ambiance at the Pearl is one of the nicest in Missoula and it’s a favorite among our many guests here at Blue Mountain B&B. If you would like to go on a truly amazing tasting tour of the world, then join the Risho family for a gourmet topis experience that you will find no where else. Among other fabulous dishes, their beef tenderloin togarashi is supurb! They have a full gluten-free menu as well.
One of our other real favorites is the Red Bird (indoor seating only). Their gourmet dishes are a work of art and as beautiful as they are palette pleasing! Every dish is a masterpiece, prepared with special talent and thought. Unlike some gourmet experiences, Missoula’s top restaurants always leave you feeling truly satiated. For a town of our size, we have some really outstanding dining choices.
-Sack Lunching It: If you’d like to eat on the go but not pack lunch yourself, Missoula offers a couple of really great options. Why not enjoy a day on the river or in the woods with a nutritious and mouth watering “sack lunch?” The Buttercup Market and Cafe is a wonderful, locally owned hide away in the University District. They offer breakfast and lunch and have a wide selection of delicious gluten-free pastries. All of their ingredients are grown or made either locally or regionally! You can also stop by The Good Food Store and pick up something from their salad bar. They also have great sandwiches as well as hot dishes available and you are welcome to eat in or take it with you.
*Wine, Brew and Tasting Events:
–Enjoy wine tasting at La Grotta Bella every Thursday night from 5:00-8:00 p.m. You can purchase tickets upstairs at The Old Post Pub for $10.00 and then take the almost hidden staircase down into the “catacombs of Italy.” The stone walls and lovely architecture will indeed give you the feel of spending an evening somewhere in Europe! (103 W. Spruce St., Missoula 721-7399)
-Don’t forget Taste of The Big Sky which is listed above, under festivals! If you enjoy tasting locally made wine and beer this is an event for you.
-Other Area Wineries and Breweries: Bayern Brewery, Big Sky Brewery, Draft Works Brewery, Flathead Lake Brewing Company, The Kettlehouse, Lolo Peak Winery, Missoula Winery and Event Center and Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery. For a list of general Montana wineries, click on this Made In Montana link.
Many locals as well as out of town guest enjoy a get-away at Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast. It’s a perfect way to take a little vacation… surrounded by the beauty of the forest and yet only minutes from downtown Missoula!