Downtown Missoula’s Out to Lunch Launches June 7

Downtown employees have another option for lunch during the summer. The 32nd annual Out to Lunch Summer Series in Caras Park kicks off its 13-week schedule on Wednesday, June 7.  Out to Lunch was started in 1986 and is the longest-standing outdoor food and music event in Montana. Each Wednesday during lunchtime from 11 am to 2 pm, Missoula families, friends, and visitors enjoy Missoula’s best food trucks from local vendors, live music, and activities for kids. You Knew Me When takes the stage on June 7 and Childbloom Guitar will provide the kids’ activity.

Out to Lunch’s sister event, Downtown ToNight, which kicked off last week on Thursday, June 1, was launched in 2001 and is held every Thursday evening in Caras Park from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Long-time, local favorites are a major theme with the bands set to take the stage for Out to Lunch with The Retrotones (June 14), Erik “Fingers” Ray (June 28), Bob Wire & the Bob Wire Trio (July 12), Salsa Loca (July 26), and Mudslide Charley (August 9).

While free music is a draw for the community, experiencing different foods from Missoula’s best food trucks are a large part of the overall experience. Local favorites such as Big Dipper, Clove Cart Pizza, El Cazador, Masala, and Sa Wad Dee will be among the communities’ ‘must haves’ again this year.  New vendors include Bitterroot Bison, Crepematic, Gumbo Bus, Ina’s Indian Tacos, and What’s a Viking – all of whom bring new and diverse offerings for attendees.

Parking is available in the New Park Lot of Caras Park and folks can either pay for parking at the digital parking meters or via the new Passport Parking app (Zone #4063).  Folks are encouraged to take advantage of ‘first-hour-free’ parking in the parking structures that are located within a short walking distance to Caras Park (E. Front Street and W. Main) as parking in New Park lot can be limited.

For a fun and unique experience, attendees can ride the Mountain Line Trolley for free to Caras Park. Folks can pick up the trolley anywhere along Higgins Ave. between Dornblaser Park & Ride and Caras Park every 20 minutes.  Free rides on the trolley are made possible thanks to support from Blackfoot, Missoula in Motion, and the Missoula Parking Commission.

“Downtown Missoula is currently the best place to be in Missoula,” said Anders Brooker, President of the MDA Board of Directors and owner of Runner’s Edge on North Higgins. “Downtown ToNight and Out to Lunch serve as a consistent favorite of not only the local community, but the business community as well.  Both of these events help to foster opportunities for engagement, enjoyment, commerce and comradery in Downtown.”

Drawing close to 80,000 attendees over the course of the 14-week schedule, Out to Lunch and Downtown ToNight are supported by Missoula-area businesses or organizations via sponsorships, as well as vending fees. Nearly 50 businesses and organizations are supporting the programs this year, including Zip Beverage, Mountain Line, Blackfoot, Missoula Pediatric Dentistry, Good Food Store, Missoula Independent, Mountain Broadcasting, Missoula Broadcasting, and many, many more.