Small Town Fun at Creamery Picnic in Stevensville

By DONNA L. HULL

Hello Make it Missoula readers. Welcome to my first post for Boomers in Missoula where I’ll be sharing boomer travel adventures in Western Montana and beyond. I’ll also be sharing stories that celebrate small town life in America, one of the reasons that my husband Alan and I moved to the Missoula area. So, let’s get started.

Don’t you just love a parade? I do. And, that’s where you’ll find me on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Alan and I will be standing on the Main Street sidewalk in Stevensville, Montana, as rodeo queens, antique fire trucks and big green tractors rumble by in the 100th Creamery Picnic Parade. (http://www.creamerypicnic.com/)

Last year, we stood beside a group of young children who scampered for candy thrown from the floats. Of course, the float that handed out ice cream bars became an instant hit, especially on a hot Montanaday.

This year, when the parade ends, Alan and I will walk on over to Lewis and Clark Park to browse the craft displays. I’m sure the scent of barbecue sizzling on the grill will tempt us to check out the teams competing in the Smokin’ in the ‘Root, 11th Annual Montana State BBQ Championship. I know what I’m having for lunch!

Just in case you’ve forgotten (or don’t know) how the Creamery Picnic came to be, here’s the story. In 1911, the co-op creamery in Stevensville, Montana, burned to the ground. Manager John Howe told the community that if they helped rebuild the creamery within 30 days, he would host the biggest celebration that they had ever seen. The community came through and so did Howe.

Today, the Creamery Picnic is a three-day event. Festivities include a Brew Fest, the Milk Run (5K, 10K and 1-mile family fun run), pancake breakfast, craft and vendor booths, Montana State BBQ Championship, celebrations honoring outstanding Stevensville citizens for the year, a parade and nightly entertainment, including an All Valley TeenDance.

Alan’s interested in checking out the handcrafted beer at the Brew Fest before I drag him out on the grass for some dancing at the Family Fun Dance (Friday and Saturday night at Lewis and Clark Park). I’m hoping some of you expert line dancers will give us a few tips. We definitely need them.

Will I see you at the Creamery Picnic Parade? Be sure to say hello.

Tell me where to go: do you have a favorite Missoula area festival to share with me? I’m making a list of fun Montana events to check out.

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Flatlander to mountaineer could be the title of Donna Hull’s latest boomer adventure. The freelance writer and her photographer husband Alan (both baby boomers) have recently relocated from Arizona to the Missoula area for full-time living in the most beautiful spot in the world. Follow along as Donna writes about Western Montana travel fun that you may have forgotten about. Or, you might discover a new travel adventure waiting just down theroad.

Donna Hull publishes My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel., the internet’s go-to site for active boomer travelers. Donna is also the author of My Itchy Travel Feet, Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.