10 Can’t Miss Summer Events In Southwest Montana
It’s never too early to start planning your next adventure! Check out these 10 can’t miss Montana events scheduled for this summer in Southwest Montana!
With warmer weather on our minds, we are starting to plan our summer adventures in Southwest Montana and you can bet that we’ll be all across the region exploring some old favorites and uncovering new memories along the way. Each summer, Southwest Montana comes to life with vibrant festivals, adrenaline pumping rodeos, and cultural celebrations! Regardless of your preferences, there is sure to be something calling your name. Dig deeper into these 10 Montana summer events!
1. Augusta Rodeo Weekend – Augusta, MT
June 28-30, 2024
Experience the heart-pounding action of the Augusta American Legion Rodeo. This small-town rodeo captures the essence of cowboy culture, with events like bull riding, roping, and barrel racing. The intimate setting allows attendees to feel the energy of the competition up close. Augusta is nestled along the Rocky Mountain Front and the community comes to life for rodeo weekend! You’ll find live music, a parade, activities for the whole family, live music, and of course a PRCA sanctioned rodeo! This incredible community is ready to welcome you for an action-packed family friendly weekend!
2. Big Sky Draft Horse Expo – Deer Lodge, MT
June 28-30, 2024
For a unique and charming experience, head to Deer Lodge for the Montana Draft Horse Expo. Marvel at the strength and beauty of these magnificent draft horses as they showcase their skills in various competitions. It’s a family-friendly event that offers a glimpse into Montana’s agricultural history!
3. Ennis 4th of July Parade & Rodeo – Ennis, MT
July 3-4, 2024
This year will be the 88th Annual 4th of July Parade in Ennis. Celebrate Independence Day in Ennis with a patriotic parade and an exhilarating rodeo. The Ennis 4th of July festivities bring the community together for a day filled with red, white, and blue pride, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.
4. Montana Folk Festival – Butte, MT
July 12-14, 2024
Every July, Butte hosts the annual Montana Folk Festival – this is one of those events that people travel from near and far to attend and definitely a highlight of summer in Southwest Montana. This free, three-day, six-stage extravaganza features an eclectic mix of musical genres and vendors. Every July, more artists come from around the world (not to mention the Montana artists) take the stage, and a variety of food and craft vendors fill the streets of the Richest Hill on Earth.
5. Symphony Under the Stars – Helena, MT
July 20, 2024I
Indulge in a night of classical music under the open sky at Symphony Under the Stars in Helena. The Helena Symphony Orchestra serenades the audience with a captivating performance against the backdrop of Montana’s breathtaking scenery. Pack a picnic, relax, and let the music transport you.
Last year (2023) the they featured “The Great Ladies of Jazz” and we can’t wait for the 2024 announcement! Make sure to follow the event on Facebook to stay up to date on the 2024 event.
6. Bannack Days – Bannack, MT
July 20-21, 2024
Step back in time at Bannack Days in the historic ghost town of Bannack. This living history event brings the 19th century to life with reenactments, demonstrations, and guided tours. Experience the Old West as you stroll through the well-preserved buildings of this once-thriving mining town.
7. Last Chance Stampede & Rodeo – Helena, MT
July 24-27, 2024
The Last Chance Stampede & Rodeo is a Helena staple. The Stampede will host four concerts throughout the week, this year’s lineup includes: Chase Rice (Wed 7/24), Bret Michaels (Thurs 7/25), Scotty McCreery (Fri 7/26), and Flo Rida (Sat 7/27). Concert tickets are on sale now! This is also Helena’s rodeo weekend – that’s THREE nights of PRCA Pro Rodeo! If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, there will be carnival rides, fair food, exhibits and of the 4-H barn! Make sure to follow the Lewis & Clark County 4-H for additional information on the schedule for the week.
8. Smeltermen’s Day – Anaconda, MT
August 9-11, 2024
Anaconda’s Smelterman’s Day Celebrations are a delightful throwback to the community’s mining history and the people that created this beautiful town. It’s no secret that Anaconda is Montana’s “Smelter City” and it’s this history that has shaped such a lively community. During the Smeltermen’s Day festivities, you’ll be met with a parade, live entertainment, a variety of activities, and historic tours of both town and Anaconda Smelter Stack State Park.
While in town, don’t miss the chance to catch a movie at the historic Washoe Theatre!
9. Big Hole Battlefield Commemoration – Wisdom, MT
The Big Hole National Battlefield commemorates the battle that took place on August 9-10, 1877. When the smoke had cleared, it became evident that almost 90 Nez Perce had lost their lives along with 31 soldiers and volunteers. This National Historic Site was created to honor all who were there. The Big Hole National Battlefield is one of many sites along the Nez Perce (Nimíipuu or Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail stretches from Wallowa Lake, Oregon, to the Bear Paw Battlefield near Chinook, Montana. It was added to the National Trail System by Congress as a National Historic Trail in 1986. Learn more about the historic trail here.
The annual commemoration of the battle will take place this year on a Saturday in early August – please watch the official calendar for finalized dates. Each year, this commemoration is put on by the Nez Perce, here is a note from the park service (in regards to the 2023 event, but applicable for the 2024 event as well):
CAN I COME?
Yes! Commemoration is open to all. Please exercise appropriate respect, as this is a memorial event.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
Commemoration starts promptly at 10am (again please verify dates and time prior to arrival) down along the Nez Perce Camp Trail. We recommend arriving early to allow time to travel out to the event area.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
Commemoration honors all who lost their lives here, not just the Nez Perce. The event lasts approximately 2 hours in an area without shade, so camp chairs, water, bug spray, and sunscreen are encouraged. Specific proceedings vary year to year; please understand photography is not allowed during some points.
10. An Ri Ra Irish Festival – Butte, MT
August 9-11, 2024
Butte, Montana is known as one of the most Irish places in America. With such strong Irish heritage, it’s not unexpected for them to host an incredible Irish Festival each year! This summer, mark your calendar for Transport yourself to the Emerald Isle at the An Ri Ra Irish Festival in Butte. This celebration of Irish culture features lively music, traditional dance, and interactive lessons in history and culture. Join in the festivities and experience the warmth of Irish hospitality in the heart of Montana.
While these are 10 of the biggest events planned in Southwest Montana this summer, this is by no means a complete list of the festivities you will find throughout our region. Here’s a quick hit list of other events to consider this year!
- Living History in Virginia City, Montana (takes place every weekend throughout the summer)
- Shakespeare in the Parks (takes place in communities across the region)
- Montana’s Biggest Weekend – Labor Day in Dillon, Montana
- Art in Washoe Park – July Weekend in Anaconda, Montana
- Montana Brewers Summer Rendevouz – August 3, 2024 in Helena, Montana
Whether you’re drawn to the adrenaline of rodeos, the cultural richness of festivals, or the historically significant events – there’s something for everyone in this corner of the Treasure State. Plan your summer adventures, get ready to pack your bags, grab your friends and family, and make lasting memories in Southwest Montana!Wherever the road lead in Southwest Montana, we’re glad to have you!