How to Make the Most of What’s Left of Summer in Missoula


You may have noticed the mornings have gotten a bit cooler lately. There is a fresh, crisp tinge to the air these days. The heat of midday is interrupted by a gentle and refreshing breeze. It’s absolutely beautiful and I hate it. I hate it because I can’t fully enjoy this amazing weather without realizing that before we know it winter will be here and everything will be cold and dark – forever.

That’s not to say that winter in Montana doesn’t have its highlights. It’s georgeous for the 2 to 3 hours the sun is actually shining. It’s just that I know that the season of lazy days spent floating the river, long evenings spent outside on a deck or at one of the hundreds of summer festivals, is coming to an end. It’s a hard truth. A truth I face every year, not with grace and dignity, but with fits and tantrums.

So for those of you like me, who are desperately trying to make the most of these last few weeks of sunshine, here is a short list of things to get excited about even though the leaves are starting to change color in that majestically beautiful way that always bums me out. (For the rest of you who are just fine with autumn and winter, I don’t understand you, but I believe you’ll enjoy this stuff too.)


Sunday / September 7 / 2 to 6 pm / Caras Park

Germanfest Steins

Get one last hurrah in Caras Park. Ever year the Missoula Cultural Council hosts this celebration of our Sister City Neckargemünd. Bayern brewing will be tapping kegs of Oktoberfest as the Shack serves up Brats and Sauerkrat. Traditional Bavarian music, lederhosen everywhere, and even pretzels from Black Cat Bakery make this the best excuse to drink beer outside from a 20 ounce stein.

The festival runs from 2 to 6 pm on Sunday, September 7. More information is available at the Missoula Cultural Council’s website. (You can also volunteer and get a free t-shirt.)

New Galleries!

repetoireTwo new galleries have just opened up right downtown. Each with their own unique style and taste and both with an impressive list of local and regional artists displaying work, these new galleries are a great way to forget that my car is going to get stuck in the snow about two months from now.

Repetoire Art & Design is hosting their Grand Opening on First Friday (Sept. 5, 5 – 8). Get a first look at this ecclectic and thoroughly Missoulian gallery. You can find them downtown at 113 W. Broadway.

Radius Gallery
officially opened this month and will kick off First Friday with a show featuring ten talented local and regional artists attached to the gallery. Also, they are on the lookout for submissions to their October show: Wind & Bones. According to the gallery, the show is inspired by the poetry of James Welch.

Radius Gallery“The poetry of Montana writer James Welch was once described as having “a lot of wind and bones in it.” It’s an idea that intrigued us, so we offered this provocative concept to artists and asked them to respond to the idea of wind and bones.”

Artists from all disciplines are encouraged to apply by September 12 with 3 digital photos and contact information. Contact Lisa Simon for more information or to submit.

You can get more info about these galleries and more First Friday events at the Missoula Gallery Guide

Frontier Space Art Party & Silent Auction!

First Friday / September 5 / 5 to 10 pm


This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss – particularly if you’ve never been to a Frontier Space show. The gallery in the alley (behind the Old Post Pub) has been exhibiting bold, provocative, contemporary art in Missoula for four years. Independently run, the gallery is almost completely funded by the co-directors. And they aren’t wealthy. A handful of MFA students run and finance the gallery out of a love of art, specifically to bring you one of a kind art experiences every month that you won’t see elsewhere in Missoula or the region.

Not only will this auction continue their commitment to quality, but will also showcase numerous works by talented and forward thinking artists. With minimum bids starting as low as $20, this fundraiser is geared to be accessible to everyone.

In addition to the silent auction (5 to 8:30 pm), music, food, drinks and original prints from Jack Metcalf will be on hand in the alley from 5 to 10 pm.

To learn more about the event and Frontier Space Missoula, check out the Missoula Cultural Council’s blog.


Matt Anglen HeadshotMatt Anglen is a prodigal Missoulian who has returned to the valley after a brief stint as a starving artist in the Windy City. He is currently the Program Director for the Missoula Cultural Council and lives with his wife and son at the base of Mount Jumbo.