The 2014 Out to Lunch & Downtown ToNight Seasons Kick-Off June 4 & 5

Missoula’s favorite summer dining and entertainment series in Caras Park kicks off the first week in June. Produced by the Missoula Downtown Association, the Out to Lunch program celebrates its 29th season, and Downtown ToNight is in its 14th year. These events bring more than 75,000 individuals to Caras Park in Downtown Missoula each Wednesday and Thursday from June through August.

Out to Lunch, held Wednesdays from 11am-2pm, features 23 food vendors, live musical entertainment, free children’s activities, and free trolley shuttle service to Caras Park from anywhere along Higgins Avenue. This year’s July 2 event will be a special day celebrating the life of Pat Simmons, who founded Out to Lunch 29 years ago.  Pat Simmons Day will include a presentation by Mayor Engen and the Simmons family. Free carousel rides will give fans the opportunity to meet players from the Missoula Osprey baseball team.  Out to Lunch will feature special performances by the Rocky Mountain Ballet throughout the season (June 25 and August 20).

Out to LunchDowntown ToNight, which runs every Thursday from 5:30-8:30 pm, includes live music, a bar, 21 food vendors, children’s activities and free parking throughout Downtown. This year highlights several community events throughout the summer. On June 12, Missoula in Motion will present the winners of the 2014 Commuter Challenge honoring those embracing alternative modes of transportation. On July 10 the Missoula Downtown Association will partner with the Missoula Independent to bring the band and musician winners of the “Best of Missoula” contest to entertain the crowd.

“Out to Lunch and Downtown ToNight represent everything that is right about Missoula,” says Brent Campbell, MDA Board President.  “These events connect our community, culture and friends with this great Downtown.  MDA is the proud presenter of these celebrations that enrich our lives. We hope everyone can come and celebrate with us this summer.”

Twenty-six live bands were selected from a pool of over 60 applicants. This year’s lineup features nine new performance groups, six of which are traveling bands. There are plenty of seating options in front of the stage and under the pavilion as well as free WiFi in the park, making it a great meeting place for Downtown employees.

New food options on the menu this summer include Brazilian bowls, steamed Asian buns, made-to-order crepes, specialty tamales and pressed hot sandwiches.

With free admission, these Caras Park events help contribute significantly to our quality of life and downtown’s economy. More information on Out to Lunch and Downtown ToNight can be found at the Missoula Downtown Association’s website, by picking up one of the 2014 handbills at the MDA office, or a variety of Downtown locations.