Bright carnival lights

The Western Montana Fair is a community favorite for its fair food, carnival games and rides, and nightly entertainment.

Community Events

Each year, Missoula hosts numerous events that bring its residents together to share fun and celebrate community.

Whether annual events like the Western  Montana Fair or the Parade of Lights, or periodic events held seasonally, you’ll find Missoulians eager to participate.

Below you’ll find some of Missoula’s most notable and well attended recurring community events.

Annual Events

Big Sky Documentary Film FestivalFebruary
The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival celebrates the art of nonfiction film by giving voice to the powerful ideas presented in documentary form.

Garden City BrewFestMay
Sponsored by the Missoula Downtown Association, this popular annual event features more than 60 beers on tap, a wine bar, food, and live music.

International Wildlife Film FestivalMay
Each year the International Wildlife Media Center hosts the world-renowned Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula. The Festival showcases cultural and environmental films from around the world.

Garden City River Rod RunJune
Every June Caras Park hosts 2 days of classic cars, food, music. and fun! It all kicks off with a parade on Higgins Avenue on Friday night.

Independence Day Celebration at Fort MissoulaJuly
4th of July at the Historical Museum is a family event featuring old time crafts, entertainment, live demonstrations, silent auction, kid’s activities, and more.

Western Montana FairAugust
Each year in August the Western Montana Fair draws huge crowds of Missoulians and Western Montana residents to the Missoula County Fairgrounds to celebrate “Fair Week.”  What draws them in? Exhibits of all kinds, the Beer Garden, horseracing, the rodeo, the carnival rides, concerts, and yes. . . the food! The fair serves up local delicacies that can only be found at the fair and people admittedly flock to feed.

River City Roots FestivalAugust
The River City Roots Festival bills itself as a showcase for some of the region’s most talented artists (fine art and music), emphasizes family fun and fitness, and exposes the region to all the great things about Missoula.

Missoula Symphony in the ParkAugust
This annual outdoor performance of the Missoula Symphony is held in Caras Park. The orchestra presents a program of pop tunes, movie themes, and light classics that is perfect for the entire family. Food and beverage may be purchased on-site from a number of different vendors. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy this free concert.

GermanFest is a celebration of German culture and Missoula’s Sister City relationship with Neckargemünd, Germany. Sponsored by the Missoula Cultural Council with assistance from the German Department at The University of Montana, this free event is held in Caras Park. Fun for the whole family, everyone can enjoy German music, dance, kids’ activities, and more. And yes, for adults, there’s plenty of German beer!

UM Homecoming ParadeSeptember or October
This annual event draws a huge crown that lines Missoula streets to watch the annual Homecoming Parade. Held in conjunction with the University of Montana Homecoming celebration each autumn, the parade serves up roughly 120 entries including floats, marching bands, local leaders, and community groups and organizations who trek the  parade route from North Higgins  across the bridge through the Hip Strip, south to University Avenue, and east toward the U.

Parade of LightsDecember
Downtown Missoula holds an annual Parade of Lights. The parade is preceded by a day filled with  free family activities including photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides on East Pine Street. and more. The Parade travels north on Higgins Avenue at 6:00 p.m. culminating at the Red XXXXs where the Downtown Christmas tree is officially lit.

First Night MissoulaDecember
The Missoula Cultural Council hosts First Night as an accessible, affordable, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration for the entire family. The annual event includes performances and art displays at 30 venues from noon to midnight on December 31st with the goal of broadening public appreciation of local and culturally diverse visual and performing arts.

Recurring Seasonal Events

Farmers’ Market
Each Saturday morning from May to October, locals and visitors flock downtown to Missoula’s outdoor markets to sample exquisite local fare. A stop at the Farmers’ Market on Circle Square at far north Higgins boasts a bevy of fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, plants, flowers, and coffee.  Saturdays, 8:00 a..m. to noon, mid-May through mid-October.

Missoula Saturday Market
Two blocks south of the Farmer’s Market on East Pine Street, close to 100 artisans and vendors offer local arts, crafts, and handmade items, along with selected imports. Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. mid-May to mid-October.

Clark Fork River Market
Under the Higgins bridge,  Missoula’s newest market offers a variety of locally-produced meats, vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants, and baked goods.  Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. mid-May to mid-Oct.

Out to Lunch
Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. during June, July, and August, Missoulians converge on Caras Park to enjoy a beloved local event. Out to Lunch boasts live music and food from a huge variety of restaurants and vendors.

Downtown ToNight
Held in Caras Park, Downtown ToNight takes place every Thursday night from 5:30-8:30 in June, July, and August. The live music, a beverage garden, food vendors, and children’s activities are a fun, family-friendly way to enjoy the long, warm summer evenings in Missoula.

Monthly mingling at the Missoula Art Museum featuring new art exhibits and the martini of the month.

First Friday Gallery Nights
Held the first Friday of every month, downtown galleries, museums and several businesses showcase new artists and their artwork from 5 to 8 p.m. Share cocktails and appetizers with native and regional artists.

Bonner Park Band Concerts
From late June through mid-August each year, the Missoula City Band performs free concerts on Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.  in Bonner Park, one block east of Higgins Avenue between Evans and Beverly Avenues.

This Week’s Missoula Arts & Culture Scene

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Local Artists and Missoula Food Bank Partner for Hunger Awareness

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Run For the Luck of It

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Lend Me a Tenor Opens Friday, March 21st

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Before There’s Smoke, There’s Fire (Fighters)

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World Premier of DRYLAND film at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Feb 22

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Parks and Recreation to Launch Pilot Program for Special Events on City Open Space

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Run through the Winter with RWM’s Boston/Spring Marathon Training Class

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Jingle All the Way to the Finish Line

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MDA Seeks Floats for 11th Annual Parade of Lights

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Leaf Collection Starts Tuesday Nov 5

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Missoula City Cemetery Presents Stories and Stones Historical Tour Oct 27

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Make it Missoula Monday – Week of May 13

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Make it Missoula Monday – Week of April 29

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Make it Missoula Monday – Week of April 15

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More than 60 Employers Slated for Western Montana Career Fair on April 25

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Make it Missoula Monday – Week of April 8

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Claire Lynch Headlines at Ruby Jewel Jamboree in Missoula, April 5th

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Beer Battle: Montana Taverns Versus Montana Breweries

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Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

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Missoula Bluegrass Picker Bill Neaves Profiled in National Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

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Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

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Missoula Downtown Association Readies for the Third Winter Brewfest

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Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

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How to Quit your Job Gracefully

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Coming Soon: Reality Plays Itself at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

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That Old-Time Sound: Chad Fadely, Montana Mandolin Master

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Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

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Startup Weekend Proves Missoula’s Entrepreneurial Chops

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Heirloom Market Celebrates Official Grand Opening January 26th

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Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, Missoula Moves to Amend Rally, Cooking Classes at the Good Food Store, Open Mic and so much more!... more

Get Tips to Snag a Job from the Missoula Job Service

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY - The Missoula Job Service is offering a free seminar about tips to snag a job on Wednesday, January 23, from 2-4 p.m.... more

Missoula to Host Montana’s First-Ever Startup Weekend

By COLIN STONER - A unique business opportunity is coming to Missoula this weekend, and it’s creating a lot of buzz amongst geeks, designers, and business-savvy locals.... more

Videos: Non-Stop Fun on Skis with a Two-Year-Old

By TRAVIS GOODKIND - We took our son skiing for the first time last winter. He took to it like a fish to water, and is already hitting the slopes at Snowbowl this year.... more

Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, it's cheese-making at the Good Food Store, a Martin Luther King Day celebration at the Children's Museum & more!... more

Tips for Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY - Professionals are now using social media like LinkedIn to search for jobs. Here are some ideas to help you find a job via LinkedIn.... more

Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, it's the Flavors of India at the Good Food Store, Open Mic at Sean Kelly's, and loads of live, local music!... more

Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, it's the First Friday, Films of Compassion, Kraptastic Karaoke, Dan Debuque, Open Mic and more.... more

Hellgate Rollergirls Derby Profile: Knuckle Slamb!tch

By KP NICHOLS - Brooke Jones and her alter ego, Knuckle Slambitch, like to jam for Hellgate Rollergirls. KP Nichols asks her burning questions about being a rollergirl.... more

Garden City Community Brew & Limited-Edition Black IPA

By RYAN NEWHOUSE - Today, the Missoula County Tavern Owners Association and Missoula’s 4 breweries released the Garden City Community Brew to benefit local non-profits.... more

Thank Your Friendly Local Santa Claus

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY - This season, remember to thank the bakers, Santas, and other dedicated workers of Missoula for contributing to the holiday spirit!... more

Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, it's the Draught Works Christmas Steamer, Zappa Plays Zappa, free kids' holiday haircuts, and more.... more

Make It Missoula Monday: What’s Happening This Week

Trail 103.3 DJs share what's happening in Missoula. This week, it's "Love is a Dog from Nebraska", "Britchy", Musician Showcase, Missoula Marathon Holiday Party & more!... more